Bengaluru, April 6: West Indian swashbuckler Andre Russell produced an astonishing late onslaught as Kolkata Knight Riders made sure Royal Challengers Bangalore are still searching for their first win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.
The West Indies all-rounder belted seven sixes as he made an unbeaten 48 from just 13 deliveries, helping the Knight Riders overhaul their opponents' total of 205-3 with five balls to spare.
Having arrived at the crease with the score at 139-4 in the 16th over, Russell managed a single from his first four legal deliveries as the Royal Challengers appeared on course to break their duck in this season's competition.
However, his whirlwind knock made the task of 53 runs from the final three overs a breeze, with the five-wicket triumph lifting Kolkata up to second in the table.
Bangalore, in contrast, remain stuck at the bottom. A fifth successive defeat did not appear on the cards at the halfway stage of the contest, with two of their star names shining with the bat.
Captain Virat Kohli top-scored with 84 from 49 deliveries and shared a second-wicket stand of 108 with AB de Villiers, who made 63. However, Russell eclipsed the pair with a dazzling display of hitting down the stretch.
When Tim Southee started the penultimate over of the game, the Knight Riders required 30 from 12 deliveries. By the time the New Zealander had finished his spell, the scores were level.
After Shubman Gill started the over with a single, Russell smashed 28 runs off the next five balls. A quartet of sixes included two over mid-wicket, while the boundary in the blitz came with a cheeky steer over wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel when Southee dropped in a short ball.
Russell has now managed 207 runs in this year's IPL from 77 deliveries, putting him third on the top-scorers' list behind Sunrisers Hyderabad duo David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. His tally includes an astonishing 22 sixes.
Here's how cricketing fraternity reacted to Dre Russ' onslaught at Chinnaswamy:
Shah Rukh Khan, KKR co-owner:
Well played boys @KKRiders @lynny50 @NitishRana_27 @robbieuthappa . Each one in the team did so well but you all will agree all words of praise r worth less than this picture... pic.twitter.com/bak2zQ9NqD— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 5, 2019
Rajeev Shukla, IPL Chairman:
Ayaz Memon, Cricket commentator:
Terrible last four overs by RCB. Bowlers lost their nerve seeing Russell with bat in hand. Think they’ll be avoiding Kohli tonite— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 5, 2019
Any asking rate is child’s play for Andre Russell . What a victory ! #RCBvsKKR— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) April 5, 2019
Has to be the scariest in world cricket #DreRuss— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 5, 2019
Monster 😳👺 https://t.co/gBOGNWyprv— Shreevats goswami (@shreevats1) April 5, 2019
Oh My Word - #DreRuss— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) April 5, 2019
Andre Russell is just ridiculous!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥— Sam Billings (@sambillings) April 5, 2019
That was unreal from Andre Russell #RCBvKKR— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) April 5, 2019
Andre Russell’s mathematics teacher’s big complaint was that he only learnt the 6 multiplication table.— Gaurav Kapur (@gauravkapur) April 5, 2019
Freddi Wilde, cricket analyst:
Andre Russell is playing a different game to the rest of the world right now. Hitting like we have never seen before.— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) April 5, 2019
Russell this IPL: 111•41166141464•611•111111644666641W•1••6166•1•••1114•616641424W•1••666166646
16.12 RPO#IPL #RCBvKKR
Chris Lynn, KKR teammate:
Dre Russ is something else. Like how TF do you hit a head high full toss over wide long on 🤷♂️— Chris Lynn (@lynny50) April 5, 2019
(With Opta inputs)