Defending Champions Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Kings XI Punjab by 4 wickets at Pune courtesy a blinder from Andre Russell. With this, Kolkata move to the third position in the points table overtaking Delhi Daredevils who defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 4 runs at Vizag earlier today.
Chasing a par total of 156 to win, Kolkata were off to a shaky start as Sandeep Sharma had Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey in quicktime as they were reduced to 34-2 inside the first five overs. Surya Kumar Yadav too didn’t last long as he smashed Mitchell Johnson for 2 sixes before he was dismissed caught behind off Thisara Perera for a 10 ball 23. Sandeep came back for his final over and sent back skipper Gautam Gambhir and Ryan Ten Doeschate off successive balls to have the visitors reeling at 60-5 in 9 overs. Andre Russell joined Yusuf Pathan at the crease as Russell started his onslaught. Russell smashed each and every bowler all over the park to reach his fifty off just 28 balls and eventually was castled by Mitchell Johnson for 66 off 36 balls at a stage when his side needed just 1 run to win. Russell shared a 95 run partnership for the sixth wicket with Yusuf Pathan, who remained not-out on 28 off 24 balls and that proved to be the turning point as the Knight Riders cruised home with 13 balls to spare. Russell’s knock had nine fours and two sixes.
Earlier, put into bat, Kings XI made 155-9 courtesy a timely 45 ball 60 from George Bailey. Umesh Yadav picked three wickets while Morne Morkel and Russell scalped two each. Russell was named the Man of the Match.
Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab 155 for 9 (George Bailey 60, Glenn Maxwell 33, Umesh Yadav 3-33) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 159 for 6 (Andre Russell 66, Yusuf Pathan 28*, Sandeep Sharma 4-25) by 4 wickets.