Russell, Narine cameos fail to save KKR

DELHI, India, CMC – Andre Russell and Sunil Narine sparkled, albeit briefly, but their efforts were not enough as Kolkata Knight Riders crumbled under the pressure of a difficult run chase and tumbled to a 55-run loss in the Indian Premier League here yesterday.

Chasing 220 – the highest total in the tournament this season – at the Feroz Shah Kotla, KKR could only muster 164 for nine from their 20 overs, as they slipped to their fourth defeat of the season.

Russell top-scored with 44 from 30 balls, Shubman Gill struck 37 while Narine blasted a spectacular nine-ball 26 at the top of the order.

The left-handed Narine attacked from the outset, striking a four and three sixes but KKR were still in trouble at 33 for three when he fell at the end of the third over.

Narine had blasted two consecutive sixes down the ground off left-arm seamer Trent Boult (2-44) when he tried to clear point off the final delivery but succeeded only in picking out cover.

Two more wickets fell to leave KKR tottering on 77 for five but Russell arrived to add 64 for the sixth wicket with Gill, in a failed rescue mission.

The right-hander belted three fours and four sixes – including two in the 12th over from Avesh Khan which leaked 15 runs – while Gill counted three fours and a six.

Gill’s run out in the 16th over broke the stand and Russell followed two overs later, yorked by Avesh with victory already out of the question for KKR.

Earlier, captain Shreyas Iyer top-scored with an unbeaten 93, posting 59 for the first wicket with Colin Munro (33) and another 68 for the second with opener Prithvi Shaw who made 63, as Delhi piled up an impressive 219 for four off their 20 overs.

Iyer faced 40 balls and slammed three fours and 10 sixes while Shaw hit seven fours and two sixes in a 44-ball innings.

Russell managed a solitary wicket from three overs of pace while off-spinner Narine went wicket-less also from three overs.

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