Andre Russell celebrates his 31st birthday in style: One of my best T20 days

first_imgAndre Russell walked the talk on Sunday as he produced an all-round effort to help Kolkata Knight Riders crush Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens in the Indian Premier League.Russell, who also turned 31 after the match, bludgeoned 80 not out off 40 balls and took 2 wickets for 25 runs as the Knight Riders restricted Mumbai Indians to 198 for 7 while defending a mammoth total of 232 in 20 overs.Russell also took a couple of catches in the second innings as he almost single-handedly helped KKR end their six-match losing streak in their final home game. The win was also KKR’s 100th in T20 cricket.Before this game Russell had expressed his disappointment at Kolkata’s bowling and decision-making in the IPL so far this season. Russell’s words seemed to have hit the right spot as Knight Riders certainly pulled up their socks after that with the all-rounder leading the way for them once again.”If the fans say that I am a super-hero I am happy. Hand-eye co-ordination, a good bat speed and balance is important. I generate a lot of power from the shoulders and core. Everything works together. You need to make sure your body is fit and strong in order to play those upward shots in those moments,” Russell said after getting the man-of-the-match award.DRE RUSS is adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant 80* and bowling figures of 2/25 pic.twitter.com/rY5uWxvWDaIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 28, 2019Needing a victory to even dream of a berth in the playoffs, KKR were off to a flying start riding on Lynn (54; 29 balls, 4×8, 6×2) and Gill’s (76; 45 balls, 4×6, 6×4) 96-run opening stand which came off just 57 deliveries. Gill’s chanceless knock was also his highest T20 score.advertisementAfter Lynn’s dismissal in the 10th over, Russell made the most of a reprieve — he was dropped on 1 by Evin Lewis — to remain unbeaten and blast his highest score this season off just 40 balls with the help of six fours and eight sixes.Russell shared a 62-run stand for the second wicket with Gill off 35 balls and then combined with skipper Dinesh Karthik (15 not out) for an unbroken 74-run partnership which came off just 29 deliveries.There is no stopping this fella. A wicket of his very first delivery pic.twitter.com/NMXV1mV1PWIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 28, 2019In the last three overs, Russell made mincemeat of Mumbai’s famed bowlers Hardik Pandya, Jasrpit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga, taking 20, 15 and 20 runs off them, respectively, as the hosts plundered 55 runs in that period.”We have given ourselves a chance. Hopefully the result in the next two games goes our way. One of my best T20 days, definitely. We needed to get 200-plus but getting 230 was just enough. If it was just over 200 we would have been on the losing end. We kept our heads calm under pressure and executed our plans well,” Russell said.Finishing the innings with a MASSIVE SIX – courtesy DRE RUSS pic.twitter.com/ZVm91qpuaeIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 28, 2019Mumbai came close to the target thanks mainly to Hardik Pandya’s brutal 91 off 34 balls but the rest of the batsmen failed to fire which eventually led to their defeat. MI though, are still placed third on the table with 14 points from 12 games while KKR are fifth with 10 points.Two teams – Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals – have already advanced to the playoffs. All the other six sides are in contention for the last two playoff spots.Also Read | KKR vs MI Highlights, IPL 2019: Kolkata crush Mumbai by 34 runs at Eden GardensAlso Read | IPL 2019: Rohit Sharma fumes after cheap dismissal against Kolkata Knight RidersAlso Read | From fairy tale beginning to 6 losses in a row: Kolkata Knights Riders’ woes at IPL 2019last_img