IPL: Russell floors Kings XI with all-round brilliance
Andre Russell produced another star peformance to make it two wins from two for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and inflict further misery on Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin made the headlines for the wrong reasons in Kings XI’s opener against Rajasthan Royals, mankading Jos Buttler to secure the key wicket of the England star to help his side seal victory.
He has faced significant criticism in the aftermath and his team were comfortably beaten on Wednesday, thanks largely to Russell.
Player-of-the-Match in Kolkata’s win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Russell struck 48 off just 17 deliveries as the Knight Riders posted a total of 218-4.
Russell’s innings featured five sixes and he was ably assisted by Robin Uthappa, who struck an unbeaten 67, while Nitish Rana hammered 63 off 34 balls.
Kings XI’s response was underwhelming and, despite half-centuries from Mayank Agarwal (58) and David Miller (59 not out), their 28-run defeat was already sealed before the final over.
ASHWIN’S AGONISING SPELL
Though he did not court more controversy, it was a chastening spell for Ashwin as Kolkata set about posting a challenging total.
Ashwin finished with figures of 0-47 from his four overs, the skipper the most porous bowler of an attack that floundered throughout.
His final over saw him hit for a pair of sixes by Rana, who was the star of the show until Russell’s stunning late salvo.
RUSSELL DELIVERS AGAIN
Russell struck 49 off 19 in the win over Sunrisers and was in the mood again as he punished the Kings XI attack. The all-rounder’s blitz featured a run of eight successive deliveries where he either found or cleared the rope.
His thrilling cameo helped push Kolkata past 200 before he was denied a half-century by a fine Mayank catch on the boundary.
Despite that disappointment, Russell’s devastating spell at the crease proved enough to ensure the target was well out of the reach of Kings XI. (Sportsmax)