Andre Russell played yet another scintillating knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens on Friday. The West Indian all-rounder who is so far having a dream IPL once again put the opposition in a panic mode during his stay in the middle while the hosts were chasing a mammoth target of 214.
However, Russell gave a big scare to RCB in the 15th over which was bowled by their premier wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal who had only conceded just two runs in his first three balls was given a reality check by the big Caribbean power-hitter when he took strike during his fourth delivery. In the next three deliveries, no matter which variations the leg-spinner bowled Russell easily came down on one knee and took deposited into the stands, as a result of his hat-trick of sixes, a good over became an expensive over as Chahal ended up giving away 20 runs while a tensed Virat Kohli tried to hide his frustrations.
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Russell played a valiant knock of a 25-ball 65 at a strike rate of 260 which included nine maximums. He was dismissed on the second last ball of the penultimate over. The big West Indian stitched in a 118 run stand for the fifth wicket along with Nitish Rana who scored an unbeaten who played a superb knock of an unbeaten 46-ball 85 at a strike rate of 184.78 after KKR were in a spot of bother at 79/4. Nonetheless, their heroics were not enough as KKR fell short by 10 runs.
Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore were asked to bat first after Dinesh Karthik had won the toss and elected to bowl first. Virat Kohli who had opened the innings along with Parthiv Patel started slowly but once he found his rhythm, he started to play his natural game. Kohli also got good support from English all-rounder Moeen Ali who played a stellar cameo of a 28-ball 66 as the duo put on 90 runs for the third wicket stand. The RCB skipper continued the rampage after Ali's departure as he bought up his fifth IPL ton and the first one of this season. He was dismissed in the final delivery of the innings. His blistering 58-ball 100 took RCB to a huge total of 213/4 in their 20 overs.