West Indies and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Andre Russell had been far from his explosive best in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 but that was all before Monday night. Russell once again gave proof his power and pedigree as she lifted KKR to their fifth win of the season, smashing three sixes off one over from Punjab Kings (PBKS) all-rounder Sam Curran at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
KKR needed 26 runs to win in the last two over and PBKS would have started fancying their chances with Curran and Arshdeep Singh bowling the last 12 deliveries. However, Russell had other plans for Monday night as he slammed the second and third ball of the 19th over for huge sixes and then after a dot ball off the fourth brutally launched the fifth ball over backward point for third six in the over.
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Although Russell was run out in the final over for 42 off 23 balls with three sixes and three fours, there was Rinku Singh at hand to smash the final delivery from Arshdeep Singh for four to complete a five-wicket win for the home side. Russell was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ for his knock on Monday night.
“We said that the ball is gripping a bit. We just have to stick in there and hopefully they miss their yorkers and miss their lengths. So I know once we needed 30 off two overs, it was very gettable. Even though they have good death bowling, the pressure with us swinging a big bat at the other end is always going to put pressure on the bowlers,” Russell said at the post-match presentation.
The West Indies all-rounder went on to explain his plan about the final two overs. “So we always just back ourselves and happy that the guys come together tonight and we did it. I flick one surprisingly in the stands tonight. I didn’t really swing at it but I was happy that it went for six because we really needed a boundary at that time. To get those two sixes and really get us momentum going into the other over and cutting another ball for six over point really put the icing on the cake. There was a little chaos on the back end there with me getting run out wanting to finish the job. But we have a finisher in Rinku and I was very proud of him,” he added.