Umesh Yadav and Andre Russell shine as KKR defeats PBKS to take the top spot in the table. Yadav’s four-wicket haul help Punjab Kings be dismissed for 137, before Andre Russell’s stunning 31-ball 70 help Kolkata Knight Riders chase the total down in under 15 overs.
Umesh Yadav continued his dream run with a four-wicket haul, and Andre Russell returned to his brutal best to lead Kolkata Knight Riders to a six-wicket victory over Punjab Kings on Friday. Umesh (4/23), who had only played two games in the previous two IPL seasons and was initially unsold at the auction. Produced career-best T20 figures to help KKR dismiss Punjab for a below-par 137 in 18.2 overs. The chase was supposed to be simple. But Rahul Chahar raised Punjab’s hopes with a double wicket maiden that reduced KKR to 51 for four.
Russell (70 not out off 31 balls) came out in the middle and changed the game with an eight-sixes barrage. Making it a cakewalk in just 14.3 overs. In an over that yielded 30 runs, he smashed three sixes off Odean Smith.
Russell (70 not out off 31 balls) came out in the middle and changed the game with his barrage of sixes. Eight in total, to make it a cakewalk in just 14.3 overs. He hit three sixes off Odean Smith in an over that yielded 30 runs.
When Russell is going all guns blazing, no rope is long enough. He was in that kind of zone on Friday night. The Jamaican sprinter capped off the game with a pair of sixes off Liam Livingtsone’s friendly leg-breaks. It was KKR’s second victory in three games. While Punjab suffered their first loss of the season following their victory over RCB.
Earlier, the KKR bowlers stifled the PBKS’ batting line-up.
With heavy dew falling in the second half of the games, fielding first has become a no-brainer this IPL. And KKR captain Shreyas Iyer called it correctly at the toss.
Punjab, who had successfully chased 200+ in their first game. Had a good powerplay that yielded 62 for 3 in six overs.
Umesh, who has been proving his critics wrong this season, struck early in the game, removing opposition skipper Mayank Agarwal, who was found plumb in front after missing a rather straight and full delivery in the first over of the match.
Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa (31 off 9) looked in superb form at the Wankhede Stadium, having produced a match-winning knock in the first game.
During his brief stint in the middle, the top-order batter smashed three fours and as many sixes, mostly towards the mid-wicket region, stunning the onlookers. His spectacular performance was perhaps the lone bright spot in an otherwise underwhelming inning.
Iyer’s leadership impressed me. He brought Umesh back in the middle overs to ensure there was no resistance from Punjab. In the 15th over, he also used a slip and was rewarded with the wicket of Rahul Chahar.
His new partner Tim Southee, as well as KKR’s retained spinners Varun Chakaravarthy and Sunil Narine, were all too good for the Punjab batters.
Livingstone (19 off 16) was able to convert his start, while India U-19 star Raj Angad Bawa struggled for the second game in a row.
Kagisa Rabada (25 off 16), in his first game of the season, saved Punjab’s blushes by hitting crucial boundaries to bring the total close to 140.