Russell’s innings clinched the tie for us, says Kuldeep

Andre Russel's unbeaten knock of 49 was the turning point in Kolkata Knight Riders' win over Rajasthan Royals, opines Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.

Andre Russel plays a pull shot enroute his unbeaten 49 against Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.   -  K. R. Deepak

Andre Russell’s crucial unbeaten innings of 49 steered Kolkata Knight Riders to a competitive total of 169, which proved to be a right total to defend against Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday. Kuldeep Yadav extolled the contribution of the Jamaican all-rounder who hit a barrage of sixes in his hurricane knock to resurrect the KKR innings.

“He (Russell) played an extraordinary innings of 49. We were looking at a total of 140-145 runs but ended up on a good score of 169 thanks to the way he batted. He truly deserves the man-of-the-match,” Yadav said after the match.

READ: Karthik, Russel get the job done for KKR

The Chinaman bowler said getting the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson turned the tide in KKR's favour.

“They (RR) were cruising well needing 60 odd runs in the last six overs. We discussed that at the second strategic timeout after the 14 over that if we can get a wicket of Ajju bhai (Ajinkya) and Sanju, we could make match of it. I got the wicket of Ajju bhai and PC bhai (Piyush Chawla) got Sanju soon and that got the game in our favour,” Yadav said.

Wondering at how his team imploded in the last few overs, RR captain Rahane said the middle order should have scored the winning runs. “Generally with nine wickets in hand after 10 overs you end up winning. The plan was to bat deep and I was playing positive. The credit goes to the KKR bowlers the way they bowled in last three-four overs,” Rahane noted.