Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had to chase a huge target of 191 runs in their campaign opener of the Indian Premier League (IPL) against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Saturday (April 1) in Mohali. After a horrible start by the two-time champions, Andre Russell produced a scintillating show with his bat, scoring 35 runs from 19 balls, but a one-man-show wasn’t enough to chase down the challenging target.
Mandeep Singh and Rahmanullah Gurbaz opened the innings for the KKR but Arshdeep Singh struck early, in the second over, to give the first breakthrough. He dismissed Mandeep for two runs on the first ball and scalped his second one on the last ball by sending Ankul Roy into packing.
Venkatesh Iyer, who came as an Impact Player in place of Varun Chakravarthy, tried to stabilize the innings, scoring 34 runs from 28 balls, but couldn’t go for a big score, because Arshdeep dismissed him to bag his third wicket. Rinku Singh’s dismissal by Rahul Chahar saw Kolkata lose five wickets for 80 runs.
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Check Twitter’s reaction to Andre Russell’s knock
But ‘Russell Muscle’ did what he is known for, that is, sending the ball over the boundary. He smashed three fours and two maximums, scoring 35 runs from 19 balls at a strike rate of 184. 21.
Sam Curran got rid of the big fish with his short ball. Russell tried for a pull shot but mistimed it and Sikandar Raza grabbed it safely. Russell’s knock helped the KKR reach 130/6, and before anyone could do anything, rain halted the game.
Earlier, with the help of Shikhar Dhawan‘s 40, Bhanuka Rajapaksa‘s maiden half-century, and Sam Curran‘s cameo, posted 191/5. Because of the rain, KKR, who were behind seven runs as per Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method, lost this match. KKR by then had reached 146/7 in 17 overs.
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