Prior to the match between defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium MS Dhoni reminisced about the West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell's explosive batting when CSK had hosted KKR at the Chepauk last season. The Caribbean power-hitter had scored an unbeaten 36-ball 88 which included just a boundary and 11 maximums at a strike rate of 244.44. In that game, the big man toyed around with CSK bowling as he hit the bowlers to all corners of the ground.
The CSK skipper recounted that devastating knock and then explained what had happened on that day.
“Do I have to go through the full nightmare again? Mujhe phir se Russell ki wo innings yaad karni padegi".
“We get nine fielders and then there is the bowler and a keeper. Rest of the fielders are outside the circle. Nobody is allowed outside the ground. Woh kaun aisa banda hai jo itne chhakke maarta hai?
This video was posted on Twitter by Chennai Super Kings.
Russell once again made an impact at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Monday. He was the lone warrior in KKR's lacklustre batting performance. He gave a chance in the 14th over but Harbhajan Singh dropped him as he ended up getting another lifeline. He made the most of this opportunity as he single-handedly anchored Kolkata's innings with a blistering knock of an unbeaten 44-ball 50 at a strike rate of 113.64 including five fours and three sixes. His innings helped KKR reach a respectable total of 108/9 in their 20 overs.
KKR were put into bat by CSK skipper MS Dhoni and CSK gained the upper hand right from the start. The hard-hitting opening pair of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine were sent back to the dug out early and even other batsmen could not offer much resistance as the two-time champions kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
In reply, CSK got to the target in the 18th over. Opener Faf du Plessis anchored CSK's run chase with an unbeaten 45-ball 43.