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IPL PIX: Russell, Umesh shine as KKR drub PBKS

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 02, 2022 03:50 IST
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Andre Russell

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders' Andre Russell hammers his way to a match-winning 70 off 31 balls against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai, on Friday. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Umesh Yadav continued his dream run with a four-wicket haul before Andre Russell returned to his brutal best to fire Kolkata Knight Riders to an easy six-wicket victory over Punjab Kings in the IPL match, at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, on Friday.

Umesh Yadav

IMAGE: The Kolkata Knight Riders players celebrate Umesh Yadav's four-wicket haul against Punjab Kings. Photograph: IPL/Twitter

Umesh (4/23), coming into the season with just two games over two IPL seasons and going unsold initially at the auction, produced career-best T20 figures to help KKR dismiss Punjab for a below par 137 in 18.2 overs. 

Shikhar Dhawan

IMAGE: Punjab Kings opening batter Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed cheaply for 16 off 15 balls. Photograph: BCCI/ IPL

With heavy dew setting in the latter half of the games, fielding first has become a no-brainer this IPL and KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer called it right at the toss.

Punjab, which had successfully chased 200-plus in their opening game, enjoyed a good powerplay that yielded 62 for 3 in six overs.

Veteran pacer Umesh, who is proving his critics wrong this season, once again provided the breakthrough early in the game, removing opposition skipper Mayank Agarwal, who was trapped 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), who produced a match-winning knock in the first game, looked in sensational touch. During his brief stay in the middle, the top-order batter hammered three fours and as many sixes, mostly towards the mid-wicket region, leaving the spectators in awe. His breathtaking effort was perhaps the lone bright spot in an otherwise underwhelming innings.

Tim Southee

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Tim Southee finished with figures of 2 for 36. Photograph: BCCI/ IPL

No rope is long enough when Russell is going all guns blazing and he was in that kind of zone on Friday night. The Jamaican dasher fittingly ended the game with a couple of sixes off Liam Livingtsone's friendly leg-breaks.

It was KKR's second win in three games while Punjab suffered their first loss of the season after beating Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

Earlier, the KKR bowlers stifled a power-laden Punjab Kings batting line-up.

Kagiso Rabada

IMAGE: Kagiso Rabada delivered at the death for Punjab Kings, finishing with 25 off 16 balls . Photograph: BCCI / IPL

Iyer impressed with his leadership. He brought back Umesh in the middle overs to ensure there was no fightback from Punjab.

He also employed a slip in the 15th over and was rewarded for that with the wicket of Rahul Chahar. His new-ball partner Tim Southee and KKR's retained spinners Varun Chakaravarthy and Sunil Narine were also too good for the Punjab batters.

Livingstone (19 off 16) could convert his start while India Under-19 star Raj Angad Bawa found the going tough for the second game in a row.

Kagiso Rabada (25 off 16), playing his first game of the seasons, saved Punjab the blushes by getting much-needed boundaries to take the total close to 140.

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