IPL 2019 | Another Russell Special Takes KKR to Convincing Win Over KXIP

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 28, 2019, 12:23 AM IST
IPL 2019 | Another Russell Special Takes KKR to Convincing Win Over KXIP

IPL T20.com

Kolkata Knight Riders made it two wins out of two as they registered a convincing 28-run victory over the Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday.

Andre Russell, Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa starred with the bat which helped KKR reach an imposing total of 218/4 in their alloted 20 overs. KXIP could only reach 190 despite losing the same amount of wickets.

Put into bat first, KKR opened the innings with Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn. Narine set the tone early in the innings as he smashed 25 runs in the second over bowled by debutant Varun Chakravarthy.

Shami removed Lynn for 10 and could have had Narine on the next ball, but dropped a tough return catch. However, Hardus Viljoen struck in his first over to send back Narine (24) but the openers had laid the perfect foundation by then.

KKR ended the powerplay with the score at 53/2 but then Rana stepped on the accelerator in the middle-overs along with ever reliable Robin Uthappa.

Every bowler leaked runs, including skipper Ravichandran Ashwin who ended with figures of 0/47 in his 4 overs and conceded at least one six in every over.

Chakravarthy came back to remove Rana, as Mayank Agarwal took a good running catch. Rana smashed 63 from just 34 deliveries, which included seven sixes and two boundaries.

Out came Russell and he continued his big-hitting form from the previous game, hitting 48 from 17 deliveries with five sixes and three boundaries.

He got a lucky reprieve when he was on 3, with Mohammed Shami executing a perfect yorker which had rattled Russell's furniture but it was called a no-ball as KXIP had only three fielders inside the ring.

Russell then entertained the Eden Gardens crowd with his hitting. He hit Andrew Tye for two sixes and two fours in the 18th over as the Aussie conceded 22 runs.

Uthappa played the perfect anchor, completing his 24th half-century in the process. He ended unbeaten on 67 from 50 balls, with two sixes and six boundaries. KXIP bowling card didn't make for a good reading with Viljoen's figures of 1/36 being the most economical.

KXIP needed the superstar pairing of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul to start well if they were to have any chance of chasing the massive total. Gayle hit a six and four to start the innings but then Lockie Ferguson removed Rahul in the second over as he tried to chip one over mid-off but hit it straight to Kuldeep Yadav there.

The failure further increases pressure on Rahul as race for the World Cup spots enters its final leg.

Russell then got the better of his West Indian teammate Gayle as he top edged one to Prasidh, who did well to hang onto the catch despite almost colliding with Narine.

With both openers back in the hut and score reading just 37, KXIP found it tough to even stay in touch with the required rate which kept soaring after every over.

In a rather strange incident, KXIP were awarded four extra runs when Robin Uthappa lobbed the ball to Russell at mid-on but he lost it in lights and the ball reached the boundary. Skipper Karthik protested the decision, arguing that it was dead by the time Uthappa threw it.

Agarwal registered a solid half-century from 34 balls, with six fours and one six. However, the lack of maximums hurt KXIP as they registered only 7 sixes as compared to KKR's 17.

South African David Miller register a half-century upon his return to the IPL and found some form going ahead. He ended unbeaten on 58.

Mandeep Singh too looked good during his 15-ball stay as he hit a quickfire 33 but those were the only positives in an otherwise disappointing performance from KXIP.

They will now face Mumbai Indians on Saturday while KKR will take on Delhi Capitals in their next game.
First Published: March 27, 2019, 11:59 PM IST

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