IPL 2018: Andre Russell bemoans bowling let down after Kolkata Knight Riders’ loss to Chennai Super Kings

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Jamaican all-rounder smashed 88 not out but the bowlers could not take wickets and bring the Chennai Super Kings under pressure in the high-profile Indian Premier League game.

cricket Updated: Apr 11, 2018 08:06 IST
N  Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
IPL 2018,Indian Premier League,Kolkata Knight Riders
Andre Russell’s unbeaten 88 was not enough to prevent Kolkata Knight Riders losing their first game of IPL 2018.(PTI)

All-rounder Andre Russell was left hoping Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers would have learnt their lessons after his sensational, knock was upstaged with Chennai Super Kings pulling off a thrilling win in their backyard in a high-scoring Indian Premier League game.

The big Jamaican’s power-hitting in a 36-ball 88 not out, studded with 11 sixes, seemed to have given enough. But CSK overhauled KKR’s 202/6 with a ball to spare at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.

KKR had snuffed out the batting might of Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens on Sunday, but were second best against a calm CSK led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

No total too high

Russell said after the game that he cautioned his teammates not to get carried away by their total, but felt the bowlers could have executed much better than they did.

READ | IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings negate Andre Russell blitz, beat Kolkata Knight Riders

“I have played a lot of T20 games and seen scores of 190 and 200 plus, and you still lose the game. It was important to start well and important to bowl as tight as possible and getting wickets.”

CSK kept wickets in hand before Sam Billings (56) and Dhoni (25) set it up for the final flourish. Experienced seamer Vinay Kumar then proved erratic bowling the final over, letting CSK get the 17 runs with a ball to spare.

“We were confident going out to field with 202 on the board. It was a good team effort. I am not going to point fingers and say this guy didn’t bowl well or this guy didn’t bowl well. We just have to learn from this and take it another step. It showed that we need more yorkers and be more precise about what we going to bowl,” he said.

It was a great comeback personally for the player retained by the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise, after the low of a yearlong ban for flouting doping control norms. He then suffered a hamstring injury playing in the Pakistan Super League.

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“My confidence level is really high, once you are confident in whatever sport you play, that is all you need,” the 29-year-old told a post-match media conference. “This one year, it made me a different person. I have learnt to be humble and to make sure to be on top of whatever you do as a professional and make sure these things don’t happen again.”

“I’m in good condition, won’t say 100 percent, but I’m happy. With a few more games, I will be where I want to be.” Russell also bowled creditably, going for 35 runs in his four overs on a belter of a pitch.

“It was a good wicket. I said to the guys in the huddle before we went out ‘guys, don’t get too excited about this 200 plus on the board.’ I was striking the ball out there and was unstoppable. Once a guy gets set on that wicket, he is going to hurt us.

“We didn’t keep picking up wickets and that is what pushed us back. If we got maybe four wickets inside the first 10 overs, we would be in a better position. That would be perfect against a team chasing a big total.”

First Published: Apr 11, 2018 08:03 IST