Andre Russell is back! After a below par season so far in the Indian T20 League, the Kolkata veteran smashed sixes and fours at will on Monday night at the Eden Gardens to help the team chase down Punjab's 179/7 and collect two vital points that help in keeping their campaign alive.
Punjab skipper Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring a half century, his third this season, but one that came off 41 deliveries. The team completed their 15 overs at 124/5. Harpreet Brar and Shahrukh Khan then switched gears, smashing a few big fours and sixes as Vaibhav Arora’s 19th over went for 15 and Harshit Rana’s 20th went for 21 runs to help Punjab post 179/7. Varun Chakravarthy picked 3/26 in his 4 overs.
In reply, Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 38 for the first wicket before Nathan Ellis sent back the Afghan batter on 15. Skipper Nitish Rana and Venkatesh Iyer collaborated to score 51 for the third wicket with Rana contributing with a handy half century. By the time he got out in the 16th over, 56 needed from 29 deliveries. But Rinku Singh and Andre Russell were at the crease.
Nathan Ellis went for 15 runs in the 17th over and it was then 36 needed from 18 balls. Arshdeep went for 10 but Sam Curran then was hit for 3 straight sixes by Andre Russell and the equation was down to 6 needed from 6.
Arshdeep Singh bowled the final over and 2 were needed from the final 2 deliveries when Russell got run out. 2 then were needed off the last ball and Rinku Singh at the crease, and he hit a four to help Kolkata seal their fifth win of the season.
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