Russell's final-over heroics send Kolkata top of IPL


A superb final over from Andre Russell ensured Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir's fine first-wicket stand was not in vain as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by seven runs in the Indian Premier League.

Having been put into bat in Wednesday's contest at Eden Gardens, Kolkata posted a score of 164-3 thanks to a stand of 101 in 13.3 overs from Uthappa (70 off 49) and Gambhir (54 off 45).

Uthappa's half-century marked his third of the tournament while Gambhir recorded his fourth half-century of this year's IPL.

Kings XI - who have brought Hashim Amla into their squad in place of the injured Shaun Marsh - crumbled to 13-3 in response, only for Glenn Maxwell (68 off 42) to put them in position to contend for a surprise win.

With an over remaining Kings XI needed only 12 to win, but Russell (4-20) allowed just four runs from the final six balls, with three wickets falling in that time, to deny the visitors only a third win of the campaign and send Kolkata top.

Kolkata's excellent opening stand was finally brought to a close in the 14th over as Gambhir, having hit six boundaries and a maximum, was run out at non-striker's end by Maxwell.

Uthappa put on another 36 runs with Yusuf Pathan (19 not out) before he was dismissed in similar circumstances by Mohit Sharma.

Pathan and Russell (16) were only able to add a further 27 runs for Kolkata, but Kings XI's hopes of chasing down 165 appeared to have gone following the dreadful start to their reply.

But Maxwell's arrival in the middle prompted a revival, the Australian combining with Wriddhiman Saha (24) for 40 and before contributing 55 to a stand of 67 with David Miller (13).

Despite Maxwell and Miller's exits, Kings XI appeared poised for triumph heading into the closing over.

However, Russell collected a Gurkeerat Singh shot and brilliantly threw dangerman Axar Patel (21) out at the non-striker's end.

Gurkeerat (11) was run out on the next delivery, with Russell dismissing Swapnil Singh lbw for a duck with the penultimate ball of the match to secure a thrilling win.