Russell wins Pandya duel as Knight Riders end losing streak

Andre Russell was in the runs again as Kolkata Knight Riders overcame Hardik Pandya's onslaught for Mumbai Indians to end a six-game losing streak in the Indian Premier League.

West Indies all-rounder Russell blasted 80 from just 40 deliveries to help the Knight Riders reach 232-2 - the highest score posted by any team in this season's competition so far.

Shubman Gill made 76 as he combined with opening partner Chris Lynn (54) to put on 96 for the first wicket, laying the ideal platform for Russell, who came out to bat at number three.

Kolkata smashed 75 runs from the final five overs of their innings and appeared set for a comfortable victory when they reduced their opponents to 58-4 in reply.

Pandya made them work for the win by plundering 91 in a hurry - hitting nine sixes in his 36-ball knock - before he was caught by Russell, who capped a fine display by also taking 2-25 with the ball.

Sunil Narine and Harry Gurney also claimed two wickets apiece as Mumbai finished up on a respectable 198-7, leaving the final margin of victory at 34 runs.

 

ANDRE'S GIANT HITTING

Russell had called for Kolkata's management team to be flexible when it came to his batting position and he was duly given the chance to impress with a promotion up the order.

After managing a single from his first four deliveries, the Jamaican blasted back-to-back sixes at the end of Rahul Chahar's spell as he quickly moved through the gears.

He also took a liking to Lasith Malinga in the closing stages, smashing the Sri Lankan paceman for 20 runs in the final over of the innings to post his best score in a highly productive campaign.

Russell has now reached the landmark of 50 IPL sixes in 2019, while his tally of 486 runs means he sits only behind David Warner (611) in the top-scorers list.


PANDYA PUMMELS KNIGHT RIDERS

Mumbai lost Quinton de Kock for a four-ball duck as they struggled in pursuit of such a huge target. Gurney trapped Rohit Sharma lbw for 12 and Russell won the battle with West Indies team-mate Evin Lewis, who edged behind to depart for 15.

Pandya arrived at the crease following the dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav (26) and, together with Kieron Pollard (20), added 63 for the fifth wicket.

The India international reached his half-century from just 17 balls – the quickest seen this season – but his fun came to an end when he hit a slower delivery from Gurney straight to Russell on the boundary.

With Pandya gone, Kolkata were able to enjoy the final two overs with a degree of comfort, easing to the 100th Twenty20 victory in the franchise's history.

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