IPL 2019, KKR vs MI Turning Point - Andre Russell excels at No. 3 for Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders snapped their six-match losing streak with a 34-run win over Mumbai Indians in a high-scoring IPL game that saw brutal stroke play from power-hitters of both teams.Updated: Apr 29, 2019 08:19 IST
Andre Russell has made it clear a number of times that he would like to bat at the top of the order for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and the West Indies all-rounder was handed a chance to prove himself as he came out to bat at No. 3 against Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
The stage was set for Russell to play fearless cricket as KKR were handed a brilliant start by the openers. Shubman Gill and Chris Lynn looked in brilliant touch as they added 96 runs for the opening wicket and it looked like the hosts were en route to a huge total.
Russell, who is not accustomed to batting at No. 3, took his time to understand the condition and the first 10 balls did not produce any big hit. However, in the 13th over, he slammed two maximums off Rahul Chahar and that was the beginning of an extremely special innings.
Russell absolutely dominated the MI bowlers and the majority of his wrath was faced by Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. Bumrah leaked runs in the final overs in stark constant to his reputation while Pandya was slammed for three sixes in one over as Russell scored a brilliant half century. Two more sixes off Lasith Malinga in the final over and Russell finished the innings unbeaten on 80 off just 40 balls.
At 58 for four, Mumbai were down and out but Hardik Pandya reignited their hopes with a breathtaking 91 off 34 balls. In the end, Pandya’s dismissal in the 18th over sealed the game in KKR’s favour as Mumbai ended at 198 for seven. The Indian all-rounder’s cracking innings comprised nine sixes and six fours.
The much needed win keeps KKR alive in the tournament as they now have 10 points from 12 matches. Mumbai remain in third spot with 14 points from 12 games.