Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

IPL 2019: Andre Russell ecstatic over Chris Gayle wicket as Kolkata beat Punjab

All-rounder dismisses fellow West Indian after smashing five sixes in 28-run victory at Eden Gardens

Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Andre Russell scored 48 runs and took two wickets against Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP
Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Andre Russell scored 48 runs and took two wickets against Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

Season 12 of the Indian Premier League is not even a week old, but those looking for trends may already be seeing the makings of one.

Kings XI Punjab have become the fourth team in the competition this year to lose a match after winning the toss. Captain Ravichandran Ashwin called right last night and sent Kolkata Knight Riders, the home team, in to bat.

Ashwin must have arrived at his decision after taking a look at the green-tinged pitch at Eden Gardens, imagining the possibility of early breakthroughs.

Well, those early breakthroughs did materialise as Chris Lynn (10) and Sunil Narine (24) were both back in the pavilion before the end of the fourth over. But they gave Kolkata the flying start they needed, putting together 34 runs.

But the visitors lost the plot thereafter as Robin Uthappa (67 not out) and Nithish Rana (63) struck a 110-run partnership in just 11 overs, with the latter blasting seven sixes and two fours before holing out to Mayank Agarwal off the bowling of leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

The tempo was set by this time, and Andre Russell hammered five sixes and three fours to score 48 off just 17 balls to follow his unbeaten 19 from 19 deliveries in their six-wicket win against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.

Punjab were left with 219 to get from 20 overs, and they went about their business with a positive manner attitude despite the dismissal of Lokesh Rahul for one.

But it was Russell’s night as he took two wickets, including that of Chris Gayle, his West Indian teammate, for 20.

Mayank Agarwal (58) and David Miller (59 not out), back in the side after missing Punjab’s controversial win over Rajasthan Royals, will have worried the Kolkata bowlers with their 84-run stand. But in the end the valiant effort proved not enough as they finished 28 runs short of the target.

Ashwin later claimed he expected 200 to be a “par score” but attributed defeat to “not being attentive to small things”.

Russell was pleased to get bragging rights against the man commonly known these days as the "Universe Boss".

"Gayle is like a brother to me, the bigger legend," the 30-year-old all-rounder said. "To get him out early was great. The plan was to bowl tight to him and restrict him. I am happy that I could get the job done."

Next, Kolkata play Delhi Capitals and Punjab face Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Updated: March 27, 2019 11:01 PM

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