Man of the Match Andre Russell scored 48 off 17 balls at a strike rate of 282.35 after being castled off a no-ball in the 17th over when on 3 runs since KXIP had only 3 men inside the circle.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) moved to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table with a dominant 28-run victory over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Man of the Match Andre Russell scored 48 off 17 balls at a strike rate of 282.35 after he was given a second chance when Shami castled him in the 17th over on just 3 runs. KXIP’s error of having only 3 fielders inside the circle cost them dearly as the delivery was deemed a no-ball and Russell went on to power KKR to 218/4 after 20 overs.
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KXIP lost both Chris Gayle and KL Rahul early in their run-chase thanks to good disciplined bowling from KKR. Rahul departed in the 2nd over itself as he went for a lofted shot off Lockie Ferguson only to hole out to Kuldeep Yadav at mid-off. Gayle was dismissed by Russell in the 5th over to leave KXIP struggling at 36/2. Sarfaraz Khan could only add 13 before becoming Russell’s second victim of the night. Mayank Agarwal and David Miller stitched together a 74-run partnership to give KXIP hope but that ended when Agarwal (58) was castled by Piyush Chawla in the 16th over. Miller finished unbeaten on 59 and added 43 with Mandeep Singh who entertained during his 15-ball 33 run stay but KXIP ultimately fell short by 28 runs finishing with 190/4.
Earlier in the match, Ravichandran Ashwin won the toss and opted to bowl. Kolkata got off to a lightening start as Sunil Narine plundered 24 runs off mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy in just the 2nd over. Chakravarthy who was making his IPL debut after being snapped up for Rs 8.4 crore suffered from being introduced too early into the attack as he was taken to the cleaners. Chris Lynn looked to continue the carnage in the next over but fell to Mohammed Shami and Narine followed suit in the 4th over. Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana then stitched together a 110-run partnership off 66 balls to set the stage for a monster total. Rana who moved to the top of the run-scorers charts with back-to-back fifties finished with 63 off 34 as he fell to Chakravarthy in the 15th over with the spinner making a good comeback picking up a wicket and giving away just 1 run.
Andre Russell who was sent in early to add quick runs, managed to score just 3 when Shami castled him in the 17th over. However, the delivery was declared a no-ball as KXIP had three players inside the circle and what followed was pure carnage. Russell celebrated by taking 21 runs off Tye in the next over and he finished with 48 off 17 balls. Uthappa remained unbeaten on 67 off 50 balls as KKR finished with 218/4.
Kolkata would’ve been reduced to 161/4 at the end of the 17th over with the dangerous Russell back in the hut but a monumental lapse by Punjab leaving three players inside the ring proved to be too costly. Russell hit three 4s and five 6s to power KKR to 213/4 when they finally managed to dismiss him again in the 19th over.
Varun Chakravarthy showed great character after conceding 34 in his first 2 overs to come back strong in the 15th over. He deceived Rana in the air with a tossed up googly and Mayank Agarwal took a great catch while coming charging in from long-off to take a diving catch at mid-off.
Batsman of the Match
Dre Russ made the Kings pay dearly for their rather amateur blunder of leaving three men inside the ring as he plundered 48 off 17 balls to take Kolkata comfortably past the 200-run mark. Russell looked in imperious form as he found the boundary even with the edge of the bat punishing the bowling attack mercilessly.
Bowler of the Match
Andre Russell capped a brilliant all-round performance with the ball as he dismissed the dangerous Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Khan during his spell. He finished with figures of 3-0-21-2 ending the match as the most effective bowler with an economy rate of just 7.00.
Kings XI Punjab next travel back home where they will welcome Mumbai Indians for the early game on March 30. Kolkata travel to Delhi where they will be up against the Delhi Capitals in the late game on the same date.
Points tableThe win takes Kolkata to the top of the points table with a superior net run rate of +0.834. Punjab moved down to fourth spot level on points with Delhi who are third. Check out the updated points table here.The Great Diwali Discount!
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