Russell, Yadav sink Punjab Kings

Andre Russell smashed an unbeaten half century and Umesh Yadav claimed four wickets as the Kolkata Knights Riders claimed a massive six-wicket victory over the Punjab Kings in an Indian Premier League clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.

Yadav claimed 4-23 in four overs with a maiden to help dismiss the Punjab Kings for just 137 with 10 balls remaining in the innings after Shreyas Iyer had won the toss and asked Mayank Agarwal’s side to bat first.

In reply, Rahul Chahar (4-1-13-2) had placed KKR in some trouble at 51 for four but Russell smashed two boundaries and eight maximums from just 31 balls to end unbeaten on 70 while sharing in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 90 from just 49 balls with Sam Billings (24 not out) to finish off an outstanding victory with 33 balls to spare.

Kagiso Rabada made the first breakthrough, having Ajinkya Rahane (12) caught at short third man by Odean Smith after striking three fours. Smith (2-0-39-1) then had Venkatesh Iyer caught by Harpreet Brar at point with an instinctive catch to leave the Knight Riders on 38 for two.

The introduction of Charhar’s legspin caused some trouble for KKR as the spinner claimed the wickets of the captain Iyer and then Nitish Rana (0) in the space of three balls. The important wicket of Iyer was key for Punjab as the KKR captain was looking dangerous after cracking five boundaries from 15 balls before falling for 26.

Rana wasted a review after being trapped leg before while Billings looked to play an anchor role. Such was Russell’s destruction, that Billings contributed just 16 runs in the fifth-wicket stand with Russell brining up his 10th IPL fifty from just 26 balls.

Earlier, Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa smashed three fours and three sixes from just nine balls and looked set to give Punjab a rollicking start after the early loss of Agarwal, trapped in front by Yadav.

Rajapaksa scored 31 runs of the 41 in the second-wicket stand with Shikhar Dhawan (16) before Shivam Mavi (2-0-39-1), who had conceded 22 runs in four balls, had Rajapaksa caught at mid-on by Tim Southee. Southee added two more catches to his haul, that of Liam Livingstone (19) from the bowling of Yadav and a brilliant diving catch from long-off to dismiss Rabada (25) from the bowling of Russell (0.2-0-0-1).

Southee also claimed the wickets of Dhawan, edging behind to Billings and that of Shahrukh Khan without scoring. The spin of Varun Chakravarthy (4-0-14-0) and Sunil Narine (4-0-23-1) strangled the Punjab middle-order which allowed Yadav to return and claim the wickets of Brar (14) and Chahar (0).

Rabada’s exploits at the back-end of the innings helped Punjab to a total that could be defended after walking out to the middle with Punjab on 102 for eight. Rabada cracked four boundaries and a six from 16 balls before being caught by Southee off Russell’s first ball.

Author: Brendon

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