IPL 2019: Russell stars as Kolkata survives Hardik scare to beat Mumbai

Kolkata Knight Riders hugely gained from the Russell storm to post a mammoth 232 for two, the highest total of the season. In reply, Mumbai Indians was restricted for 198 for the loss of seven wickets.

Andre Russell plays a shot en route to his half-century.   -  IPL

Like a reliable engine generating immense horsepower, Andre Russell's awe-inspiring pair of arms once again produced a fiery 40-ball 80 to propel Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a 34-run win over Mumbai Indians (MI) and kept its play-offs hopes alive in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.

KKR hugely gained from the Russell storm to post a mammoth 232 for two, the highest total of the season.

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The host, which also benefitted from Russell's two wickets, withstood Hardik Pandya's unbelievable assault, a 34-ball 91 dotted with six fours and nine sixes, to restrict MI for 198 for seven to end its six-match losing streak and wind up its home engagements positively.

The KKR openers, Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill, showed the virtue of composure in difficult times and laid a solid foundation for its fifth victory by adding 96 runs.

Gill spoilt left-arm seamer Barinder Sran's debut for MI, cleanly hitting his fellow Punjab mate for 14 runs.

Lynn, dropped on 12 by Kieron Pollard off Lasith Malinga in the sixth over, used the crease well to play some glorious strokes straight down the ground.

Lynn (54) and Gill (76) made their intentions clear when they collected runs in double digit from sixth to ninth overs.

Hardik Pandya raises his bat after smashing the fastest fifty in this year's IPL.   -  IPL

 

The Aussie, who scored his fourth 50 this year, fell to an ill-timed pull off crafty leg-spinner Rahul Chahar – who ran between the umpire and stumps to bowl over the wicket – to be caught in the deep.

Russell came in the 10th over to a loud applause but played second fiddle to Gill, who flourished due to his superb stroke-play.

READ: Hardik hammers fastest fifty in IPL 2019

Gill hammered six magnificent fours and four sixes, including one over the sight screen off Chahar, to get his second half-century and collect 62 quick runs with the Caribbean.

Russell, who had scored his first six runs off 11 deliveries, showed why he wanted to bat up the order. Even though the MI bowlers tried to bowl too wide or too close to him, Russell found his way to savage them.

Almost everything that went off his bat travelled to the boundary.

The West Indian bludgeoned Pandya, who conceded three sixes in an over to the Jamaican, and Malinga for 20 runs apiece in the death.

Jasprit Bumrah provided the maximum resistance in a brief show of one-upmanship between him and Russell, who entertained the crowd by producing six hits to the fence and eight over it.

KKR picked up timely wickets to reduce MI to 58 for four before Hardik Pandya dealt with more sixes than fours to single-handedly keep MI in the hunt.

His ferocious blows gave KKR some nervous moments before Harry Gurney ended the all-rounder's breathtaking knock and ensured the host side wins its final game at the Eden Gardens.