Bengaluru, April 5: Another illustrious chapter in the legend of Andre Russell - one of the most destructive batsmen in T20s - was added on Friday (April 5) as Kolkata Knight Riders outfoxed hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore by 5 wickets in a high-scoring Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 contest here at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
With 53 runs required from the last three overs, Kolkata Kight Riders reached home with five balls to spare, courtesy Russell's unbeaten knock of 48 off 13 deliveries. The Jamaican's innings comprised seven huge sixes - six of which came in triplets. Such was the intensity of his shots that a target of 206 seemed a child's play for the visitors who registered their fifth consecutive win at this venue.
Tim Southee, the seasoned New Zealand pacer - went for 29 runs in the 19th over of the innings and Russell finished the match in that very over.
With their fifth successive defeat in the season, Virat Kohli-led RCB continues to languish at the bottom of the table and their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs seem bleak for they now have to win all their remaining nine games to make it to the top four teams in the points table.
Kohli (84) and AB de Villiers (63) played brilliant knocks after opposition captain Dinesh Karthik invited them to bat first and having posted 205/3 in 20 overs, it seemed as if the home team might just be able to taste their first win. But Russell once again proved that no target is big until he's present into the middle.
A visibly frustrated Kohli blamed the poor execution from his team in the death overs that cost them the game, which ideally should have resulted in their favour.
"No guessing there, the last 4 four overs that we bowled was just unacceptable. We needed to be more clever, nothing came off and we just cracked under pressure. That's been our story this season so far. If you bowl with not enough bravery in the crucial overs, then you will always struggle against power-hitters like Russell. I wasn't really happy getting out at that moment, could've got 20-30 more. I thought the runs were enough on the board, we didn't show enough composure. We can have a bit of chat about what went wrong, apart from that nothing much you can say. I don't think talking enough helps. It's been a disappointing season so far, but we are still optimistic about our chances. We just have to believe in ourselves," said Kohli after ending on the losing side for the fifth occasion in the tournament.
With this win, KKR have climbed at the top of the table and they now look one of the teams to beat especially if Dre Russ continues his red hot form.
The winning captain, Karthik, praised Russell for his batting prowess and praised the Jamaican for having the belief in himself.
"Those kinds of knocks, you don't talk much. We trust him as a player. It's important to give him an atmosphere where he's happy and he just keeps performing. Yeah, it was hard to play strokes against spinners with the ball gripping but was easier against the fast bowlers. I think as much as well he batted, it's time we all started to bowl better and help the batters. It was nice to see Lynny bat like that and take responsibility," said Karthik.
Here's how the match between RCB and KKR transpired:
Andre Russell, Man of the Match: I was confident when I went out to bat. DK was telling me to take a few balls to see how the pitch is behaving. I was watching in the dugout on TV and had a fair idea. When you need 68 off 20-odd balls, it doesn't happen every day. Need to put your body on the line. The nature of T20 is such that one over can change the momentum. That's why I never give up. A part of me was saying that the runs needed were too much but I wanted to fight and eventually, we won with five balls spare. The support is good from the boys and I am in a good space so that I can express myself. No ground is big enough for me I guess, I just trust my power. Hand-eye coordination is the key (for low full tosses) as they aren't easy to hit. I try short arm jabs as extending the arms can put you in trouble. Can't explain much, rather show that on the field.
Dinesh Karthik, the winning captain: Those kinds of knocks, you don't talk much. We trust him as a player. It's important to give him an atmosphere where he's happy and he just keeps performing. Yeah, it was hard to play strokes against spinners with the ball gripping but was easier against the fast bowlers. I think as much as well he batted, it's time we all started to bowl better and help the batters. It was nice to see Lynny bat like that and take responsibility.
Virat Kohli, the losing captain: No guessing there, the last 4 four overs that we bowled was just unacceptable. We needed to be more clever, nothing came off and we just cracked under pressure. That's been our story this season so far. If you bowl with not enough bravery in the crucial overs, then you will always struggle against power-hitters like Russell. I wasn't really happy getting out at that moment, could've got 20-30 more. I thought the runs were enough on the board, we didn't show enough composure. We can have a bit of chat about what went wrong, apart from that nothing much you can say. I don't think talking enough helps. It's been a disappointing season so far, but we are still optimistic about our chances. We just have to believe in ourselves.
It's all over!! Kolkata Knight Riders have once again pulled off an incredible run chase as they've crushed RCB by 5 wickets. Russell's pyrotechnics has once again taken KKR over the line.
Andre Russell is just ridiculous!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥— Sam Billings (@sambillings) April 5, 2019
SIX!! 29 runs came from the final over bowled by Tim Southee. Dre Russ storm has blown away RCB in this big run chase. Tonight he's scored 48* off 13 balls. Scores are levelled. 1 needed from last 6.
When is a game out of bounds for Andre Russell?— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 5, 2019
SIX!! Russell pulls Southee for a maximum. A length delivery from the Kiwi was in the slot and got the punishment. 24 needed from 10 balls
SIX!! Hat-trick of Sixes from Rusell. He's turning the tables for KKR with his big hittings.
SIX!! Stoinis has been brought into the attack by Kohli for Free Hit delivery and Dre Russ hits him over long-on for a maximum. Russell-Show is ON!!
SIX!! No ball! Beamer from Siraj and even a mistimed shot from Dre Russ goes for a maximum. Two height no-balls from Siraj and he's been barred from bowling now. Tense faces in #RCB camp.
Wicket! Dinesh Karthik (19) failed to time this one well and Chahal takes a well-judged catch near the boundary ropes. They are losing wickets at regular intervals. #KKR 153/5 after 17 overs.
SIX!! Dinesh Karthik hits Saini in the deep.
Dropped and four! Kohli gives a breather to DK at mid-off and the ball raced towards the boundary.
Not Out! Yuzvendra Chahal traps Karthik (8) in front. DK goes upstairs to review it and the Hawkeye showed the ball was missing the stumps. Karthik was extremely lucky!! KKR - 140/4 after 16 overs, 66 needed from 24 balls.
Wicket! Nitish Rana's cameo of 23-ball 37 comes to an end as Klassen (sub) takes a simple catch at deep cover. Chahal gets a breakthrough. #KKR 139/4 after 15.4 overs. Dre Russ has stepped into the middle.
Dropped! Another easy catch dropped by Siraj at point. Rana gets a breather.
SIXXX! Rana hammers Negi for a maximum. Good over from their perspective. 14 came from it. #KKR 134/3 after 15 overs, 71 needed from 30 balls. Can Rana and Karthik pull this one off for their team?
Four! Nitish Rana hits Pawan Negi over deep extra-cover. Timed it to perfection and got the result.
1,1,1,1,1,1! Just six runs came from that over bowled by Chahal. Three tight overs on the trot by #RCB #KKR 120/3 after 14 overs.
Tight over from Navdeep Saini. #KKR 114/3 after 13 overs. Only 7 runs came from the last two overs, 92 needed from 42 balls.
KKR 111/3 after 12 overs. Two new batsmen are into the middle. Can RCB capitalise upon the situation from this stage?
Bowled him! Pawan Negi strikes again and cleans up Chris Lynn for 43. Could this be the match-changing moment? KKR - 108/3
SIX!! Nitish Rana slogs Stoinis over fine-leg region and the ball sails into second tier.
Dropped! Siraj puts down a sitter at covers to give a breather to Lynn. Stoinis and Kohli both look unhappy.
KKR 94/2 after 10 overs. 112 more needed from 60 deliveries.
Wicket! Robin Uthappa (33) couldn't time it well over long-off region and Southee takes a simple catch. Pawan Negi gets the much-needed breakthrough for his team. #KKR - 93/2 after 9.5 overs.
1,6Nb,1,4,1,1,4! 19 leaked by Siraj from his second over and #KKR reach 92/1 after 9 overs.
Four! Robin Uthappa times it to perfection and the ball raced towards extra-cover.
SIX! Full Toss (No-ball) from Siraj and Chris Lynn pulls him. The ball sails way back into the stands.
#KKR 73/1 after 8 overs. 5 runs conceded by Chahal from his second over.
9 runs came from that Siraj over. KKR - 68/1 after 7 overs.
0,4,0,4! Mohd Siraj has been brought into the attack and Robin Uthappa is dealing in boundaries against the pacer.
KKR are going strongly in the run chase of 206 as they have posted 59/1 in 6 overs. Lynn- 30* and Uthappa - 12* have added 31 runs between them so far. 147 runs required from 84 balls @ 10.5 runs per over.
SIX!!! Out of the park!! Chris Lynn charges down the ground and dispatches Chahal for a maximum. The bowler couldn't believe his eyes.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been introduced by Captain Kohli in the final over of the powerplay.
Four! Robin Uthappa ends Southee's over with a brilliant shot over covers. 13 came from it. #KKR 51/1 after 5 overs. They are going well in the run chase.
7 conceded by Saini from his second over of the spell. #KKR - 38/1 after 4 overs. They are looking to score big in the powerplay. Tim Southee bowls his third over, Kohli eyeing a wicket.
Four! Robin Uthappa plays a scoop shot off the short ball from Navdeep Saini and the ball sails over wicketkeeper's head for one bounce four.
3 came from that over bowled by Southee as KKR reach 31/1 after 3 overs.
Wicket! Sunil Narine (10) flicks Navdeep Saini towards fine leg but an alert Pawan Negi takes a brilliant catch near boundary ropes. RCB have stuck to their strategy of bowling only yorkers or bouncers to the West Indies batsman and it paid off. #KKR - 28/1 after 1.5 overs
Four! Sunil Narine gets hits the full toss delivery towards long-on on the Free Hit delivery
Four! Sunil Narine gets a boundary towards fine leg off Navdeep Saini.
1,0,1,2,4,5Wd,4! 13 runs came from the last two legal deliveries bowled by Southee. 17 came from that over. #KKR - 17/0 after 1 over.
Dropped! Navdeep Saini failed to take a running catch and gives Chris Lynn a reprieve. It was a tough chance but should have been taken.
Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine open innings for KKR in the run chase of 206. Tim Southee starts with the new ball for RCB.
Four! A boundary to end the over, costly over from Prasidh Krishna. Finishing touches from Stoinis (28* off 13 balls) propels RCB to 205/3 in 20 overs. 18 runs leaked by the bowler from that over and RCB have got the finish they would have hoped for.
Prasidh Krishna bowls the final over for KKR.
After 19 overs, RCB are 187/3. Will they be able to reach 200?? Good captaincy from DK to bring Narine into the attack.
Wicket! Sunil Narine bowls the 19th over and gets the big wicket of AB de Villiers for 63. ABD didn't connect it well and found Shubman Gill at long-off boundary. RCB - 185/3 after 18.5 overs.
9 runs and a wicket came from that over bowled by Kuldeep. RCB - 181/2 after 18 overs. Kohli's wicket would certainly put a brake on run flow.
Four! Stoinis edges Kuldeep but there was no slip and the ball raced towards the fence for a boundary.
Wicket! Kuldeep Yadav takes a brilliant return catch to bring an end to a fine knock of 84 runs from Virat Kohli. RCB - 172/2 after 17.1 overs.
SIX!! ABD ends Ferguson's over with a flat six towards mid-wicket. RCB - 172/1 after 17 overs. They are cruising.
SIXXX! Ferguson has been brought into the attack and Kohli dispatches him over long-on for a maximum.
Four! AB de Villiers gets a boundary off Prasidh Krishna and gets to his 30th IPL fifty off 28 deliveries. Four! ABD ends the over with another boundary. RCB - 153/1 after 16 overs.
SIXXXX!! Another maximum from ABD, this time over long-on The Kohli-ABD show is on at Chinnaswamy!! RCB - 142/1 after 15 overs.
Four, SIX!! Dinesh Karthik brings Nitish Rana into the attack and Kohli decides to attack him.
SIXXXX!! AB de Villiers hits Andre Russell over mid-off for second maximum of the over. He's looking set now!! Fasten your seat belts people. The ABD show has started. RCB 124/1 after 14 overs.
SIX!! AB de Villiers pulls the short-pitched delivery from Dre Russ and dispatched it into the second tier for a maximum.
Andre Russell bowls the first over.
End of 13 overs, #RCB reach 108/1. Kohli - 55* ABD - 27* are present into the middle and looking in sublime touch.
I don't know where this match is headed but even that much from Virat Kohli was worth coming here.....— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 5, 2019
Four! Another brilliant shot from Mr 360 degree and hits Narine towards cover for the second boundary of the over.
Four! Incredible shot!!! ABD hits Narine in the cover region and brings up 100 for RCB in 12.2 overs.
Dropped! Lockie Ferguson fails to catch the skier and gives a reprieve to ABD. He gave a good chase to the ball but failed to hold on to it. How costly is it going to be?
Four! First boundary from ABD's bat as he hits Chawla over covers for a boundary.
Halfway Stage! 9 came from Kuldeep Yadav's over. RCB reach 78/1 after 10 overs.
Four! Virat Kohli gets a faint edge off Kuldeep Yadav and the ball raced towards fine leg boundary.
Tight over from Chawla as he concedes just 5 from it. AB de Villiers has just walked into the middle and looking to settle down. Kohli is also playing the spinners cautiously. RCB - 69/1 after 9 overs.
The way #ViratKohli goes deep in the crease even when it’s pitched slightly short.. against spinners , a lesson for any young batsman , the essence of his ability to rotate strike ..so very well #RCBvsKKR #BadriBytes #IPL #IPL2019— subramani badrinath (@s_badrinath) April 5, 2019
AB de Villiers walks into the middle amid huge cheer at Chinnaswamy!
Wicket! Part-time bowler Nitish Rana draws the first blood for #KKR as he traps Parthiv Patel (25) in front. #RCB - 64/1 after 7.5 overs.
Dropped! Sunil Narine couldn't hold on to the catch at mid-wicket. Kohli gets a breather. Nitish Rana could have given the hosts their first jolt.
Kuldeep Yadav has been brought into the attack in the seventh over and didn't get any breakthrough. RCB - 60/0 after 7 overs.
End of the powerplay! 4 came from Sunil Narine's second over and RCB reach 54/0 after 6 overs.
Having previously gone five matches without getting through the Powerplay unscathed, @RCBTweets have now gone two matches without losing a wicket in the Powerplay. It's the first time they have done it in consecutive matches since 2016. #IPL2019 #RCBvKKR— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) April 5, 2019
50-partnership between Kohli (27*) and Parthiv (23*).
8 came from that over bowled by Chawla. #RCB 49/0 after 5 overs. Just the kind of start team and RCB fans were looking for.
Four! Parthiv Patel plays another sweep shot off Chawla and the ball goes towards the fence.
13 runs came from the first over bowled by Ferguson and RCB have reached 41/0. 7 boundaries in this innings so far.
4,0,4! Kohli hits Ferguson, this time over point for another boundary. King Kohli hits him straight down the ground for a classical boundary. He's looking in sublime touch tonight.
8000 runs for Virat Kohli in T20 cricket. He is the youngest player to reach this mark at 30 years 151 days, second quickest after Gayle in terms of innings.
Four! Sunil Narine has been introduced in the third over and Parthiv Patel welcomes him with a boundary over mid-wicket.
1,1,2,1,0,2! 7 runs came from the second over for RCB. Piyush Chawla started well for #KKR #RCB - 20/0 after 2 overs.
Piyush Chawla bowls the second over!
Four, Four! Kohli faces the first two balls and he hits trademark cover drives. #RCB - 13/0 after 1 over.
Four! Parthiv Patel gets off the mark in style as he smashes Krishna towards fine leg boundary. The crowd at Chinnaswamy is chanting RCB... RCB... RCB.
Karnataka boy Prasidh Krishna to start with the new ball for KKR.
1st innings! Captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Parthiv Patel step into the middle to open innings for RCB.
RCB too reliant on Kohli and ABD.
RCB’s playing XI is short on batting heft, reiterating how important it is for Kohli and ABD to find their best form— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 5, 2019
Key battles: Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers against KKR spinners. Andre Russell against Yuzvendra Chahal.
Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI): Virat Kohli(c), Parthiv Patel(w), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj
Virat Kohli: The key is not to be desperate about what we want to achieve. We want to play fearless cricket. I would back my skills and we want to execute our plans in this match. We have made a couple of changes. We want more balance in our bowling so Tim Southee replaces Hetmyer and Pawan Negi comes in place of Umesh Yadav. I want more bowling options when the situation becomes difficult.
Dinesh Karthik: We had a five-day break after a tough game against DC. We will bowl first. Just the one change, Sunil Narine comes back in. Kohli is a class player, I don't want to sledge him as he will even play better than. We want to play in the right spirit of the game, I have always believed in that.
1 change for #KKR - Narine IN, Naik OUT. 2 changes for #RCB - Southee, Negi IN; Hetmyer, Umesh OUT
Match 17: Toss: Dinesh Karthik wins toss, invites Virat Kohli to bat first.
Pitch Report: Brendon McCullum with the pitch report claims the 22-yard strip tonight is a 200-plus track. Expect a high-scoring game in Bengaluru.
Friendly banter between Chahal and Lynn before the big match!
📹 #GuessTheConversation, when Lynny met Chahal— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) April 5, 2019
Our guess:@lynny50 : Those biceps haven't grown since we last met, mate! 😂@yuzi_chahal : You don't need 'em big guns, when you can spin webs like I do 😉
Oh, what a rollicking clash it's gonna be tonight#RCBvKKR #KKRHaiTaiyaar pic.twitter.com/b4gV5OCpsL