BENGALURU, India, CMC – West Indies star Andre Russell suffered the ignominy of a first-ball ‘duck’ on his 30th birthday but Kolkata Knight Riders overcame that disappointment to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in the Indian Premier League here yesterday.
Fellow Windies teammate Sunil Narine produced a now familiar cameo but flattered to deceive as KKR, asked to chase 176, got over the line at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium with five balls to spare, to win their fourth match of the new season and go fourth in the standings.
Narine struck 27 as he put on 59 for the first wicket with Australian Chris Lynn who stroked an unbeaten 62 off 52 deliveries, with seven fours and one six.
The left-handed Narine again looked in good touch, punching three fours and a six in a 19-ball knock. However, he perished in the eighth over, holing out to long-off off leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin.
Lynn then added 49 for the second wicket with Robin Uthappa (36) keep KKR on course for a comfortable victory. When Uthappa departed in the 13th over and Nitish Rana (15) retired hurt in the 17th over with 37 runs needed from 22 deliveries, the stage was set perfectly for Russell’s fireworks.
They failed to materialise, however, as the Jamaican swung at a short one from Mohammed Siraj and only succeeded in top-edging a catch behind.
Russell had earlier shone with the ball, grabbing three for 31 with his pace as KKR restricted RCB to 175 for four off their 20 overs.
Captain Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten 68 from 44 deliveries, posting 67 for the first wicket with South African Quinton de Kock (29) while New Zealander Brendon McCullum struck 38 at the top of the order.
Russell removed McCullum in the 10th over to a catch at the wicket and bowled Manan Vohra without scoring with the next legitimate delivery, to leave RCB on 75 for three but Kohli and Mandeep Singh (19) combined in a 65-run fourth wicket stand to rescue the innings.