MOHALI, India, CMC – All-rounder Andre Russell blasted a cameo to become only the third player this season to pass 500 runs in the Indian Premier League as his Kolkata Knight Riders kept their playoff hopes alive with a seven-wicket win over Chris Gayle’s King Punjab XI.
Chasing a tricky 184 at the I.S Bindra Stadium here yesterday, KKR reached their target with 18 balls to spare to move into fifth place on the eight-team table, while Kings XI suffered elimination.
The run chase was propelled by opener Shubman Gill who stroked a responsible unbeaten 65 off 49, while adding 62 for the first wicket with Australian Chris Lynn whose quick-fire 46 came off just 22 deliveries.
Gill also put on 38 for the second wicket with Robin Uthappa (22) and a further 50 off 26 balls for the third wicket with Russell who struck 24 off 14 balls.
The big-hitting Russell, who will represent West Indies later this month at the ICC 50-overs World Cup in England, lashed a brace of fours and sixes before perishing in the 15th over when he holed out to square leg off seamer Mohammed Shami.
Russell now has 510 runs for the season at an average of nearly 64, joining Australian David Warner (692) and Lokesh Rahul (522) in the 500-run club.
Left-hander Nicholas Pooran, also a member of West Indies’ World Cup squad, extended his decent form with 48 off 27 deliveries as Kings XI, sent in, reached 183 for six off their 20 overs.
Englishman Sam Curran smashed 55 not out off 24 balls while Mayank Agarwal chipped in with 36 from 26 deliveries.
Gayle (14) fell cheaply for the second match in a row to leave Kings XI on 22 for two in the fifth over but Pooran came to his side’s rescue, belting three fours and four sixes as he added 69 for the third wicket with Agarwal.
He was eventually dismissed in the 11th over, finding the lap of deep mid-wicket off off-spinner Nitish Rana.
Russell finished with one for 29 from his three overs of pace while off-spinner Sunil Narine went wicket-less from four overs which also cost 29 runs.