Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has finally managed to keep their hopes of making it to the playoffs alive with their fifth win of the campaign to leapfrog the Punjab Kings (PBKS) and reach 5th place. The visitors, meanwhile, slumped to their second consecutive defeat to fall down to 8th place with just three games to go in the season. PBKS failed to fully capitalize on their decision to bat first against KKR as wickets fell at regular intervals throughout their innings.
The first blow came in the second over itself when Prabhsimran Singh got dismissed before Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Liam Livingstone went back to the pavilion to leave the team reeling at 58/3 at the end of the powerplay. A 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Shikhar Dhawan and Jitesh Sharma helped Punjab stabilize proceedings, the former leading the way with a 47-ball 57, but the duo lost their wickets in the space of 13 balls to leave the scoreboard reading 124/5 with five overs to go.
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Varun Chakravarthy further piled on the pressure when he dismissed Rishi Dhawan, his third scalp of the day. Shahrukh Khan and Harpreet Brar played flamboyant cameos, amassing 38 runs in total at a strike rate of 200-plus, to take the side to a competitive total. During the chase of 180, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Jason Roy dealt in boundaries early on and despite the former’s dismissal in the fifth over, the hosts managed to reach a decent 52/1 in the powerplay.
Roy’s stay at the crease ended eight balls later for a well-made 38 at a strike rate of nearly 160, paving the path for the Kings to fight their way back into the game. A sluggish cameo from Venkatesh Iyer further provided the opposition impetus but Nitish Rana kept KKR’s hopes alive at the other end. The skipper deiced to up teh ante during their partnership of 51 off 38 deliveries – which was incidentally exactly what Rana managed as well.
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By the time both fell to Rahul Chahar, the hosts required 56 to win at 12 runs an over. Andre Russell re-ignited the home crowd’s hopes with a swashbuckling 42, his three sixes in the penultimate over of the game inching the side closer to victory. However, it was Rinku Singh once again who hammered the final nail in the opposition’s coffin with a last-ball boundary, completing a match-winning cameo of 21 off just 10 balls.
Here is the video of the fiery knock from Andre Russell:
Here is how the netizens reacted:
KKR fans who called Russell "washed" after last 3 knocks deserve immediate jail time.
— Jay. (@peak_Ability14) May 8, 2023
Andre Russell 42(23)🔥🔥🔥
— KRISHNAN KANNAN (@KRISHNANKANNAN0) May 8, 2023
OG ANDRE RUSSELL🔥
— Srey🗿 (@craysrey) May 8, 2023
Rinku and Russell 🥳 pic.twitter.com/NonuTVXcTx
— Gowtham (@gowtham7gowth) May 8, 2023
Russell bhai hai tayaar 💪 #KKRvsPBKS #Russell pic.twitter.com/iQMM4jOYcn
— Prathmesh (@PrathameshG094) May 8, 2023
Rinku rinku rinku 🔥🔥🔥
Russell Russell Russell ❤❤❤#KKRvsPBKS
— Samir Maharjan (@Siuuuuuuu_1985) May 8, 2023
Russell muscle & Rinkuuuu 😭❤️
— Arav (@Arav71) May 8, 2023
Andre Russell on fire🔥 #KKRvsPBKS #TATAIPL
— Sanket Kumar Shaw (@therated_sanket) May 8, 2023
Can't forget Russell's three sixes against sam🙏 pic.twitter.com/QkAv3hoonk
— Sledgie (@Sledgie5) May 8, 2023