Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Andre Russell smashed a blitzy 70* off 31 balls against Punjab Kings (PBKS) and helped the team win by six wickets and 33 balls to spare as well. KKR were in a spot of uncertainty at 51 for 4 in the seventh over. But batting at No. 6, Russell added a 90-run stand with Sam Billings, who said that he was left stunned by the way Russell played. Sam Billings also scored an unbeaten 23-ball 24.
“It’s pretty relaxed, he rubbed off on me nicely there tonight. I had the best seat in the house and, what a performance by the big man. I was very lucky to be stood where I stood. I feared for my life a couple of times, as we saw, but special, special [knock] for him,” Billings said at the post-match press conference. “He’s shown what a world-class performer [he is], the best in the world when he goes like that. For me, it’s just about holding the game there and supporting him. He was the star and I let him play his game. For me, if he was to get out, is about taking the game deep on a pitch that offered some assistance to the bowlers,”
“It was just about that clarity – let him go and play his game, he can win a game as we saw in the space of five overs. Baz always kind of backed each individual to do that, and when you’ve got a world-class performer like that, you see the destruction he can cause,” Sam Billings further added.
A thumping win for @KKRiders 💪 💪
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 1, 2022
Earlier in the game, Umesh Yadav once again did exceptionally well with the ball, returning match-winning figures of 4 for 23. He removed PBKS skipper Mayank Agarwal (1 off 5) in the first over of the match. He then sent back the dangerous Liam Livingstone (19 off 16) in the ninth over as well.
“Umesh has been fantastic. At Delhi last year, myself, him and Ajinkya didn’t get a game. But he’s shown what a class performer he’s been over the years – certainly for India and Kolkata previously. So [he is] bowling with lovely pace, swinging the ball and nipping the ball. And yeah, these wickets have been assisting the frontline bowlers certainly early, but he’s made the most out of it. It makes such a difference when you get wickets in the powerplay, it really does set up the game for us. And yeah that’s been a fundamental part throughout all the games, certainly the ones I’ve watched on TV as well, early wickets have really hurt sides,” Sam Billings concluded.