Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan has hailed his side and talisman Andre Russell after the team’s emphatic victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Friday. Snatching the victory from the jaws of defeat, KKR was aided by the heroics of Russell who hit an impressive knock of 13-ball 48. In what was a staggering effort, he hit seven sixes leaving the fans, opposition and the pundits in awe.
The victory came at the cost of Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Banglore’s misery as they were inflicted with their fifth consecutive defeat.
The Carrebian batsman, whose stunning performance took the internet by storm, came out to bat with KKR needing 67 off 26 balls. Skipper Dinesh Karthik (19) got out in the next over and in the last three overs, the away side needed 53 runs off 18 balls. KKR posted 206/5, their highest run-chase in IPL history. RCB, thus, remained winless after five games.
Russell hit Marcus Stoinis for three back to back sixes in the 18th over and then took on Tim Southee with figures reading 6-6-6-4-6 to leave the visitors needing just one run from the last over. He associated with Shubman Gill (3 not out) to put together a 14-ball 53 run stand for the sixth wicket.
Speaking to the presser after the match, Russel said: “I was confident when I went out to bat. DK was telling me to take a few balls to see how the pitch is behaving. I was watching in the dugout on TV and had a fair idea. When you need 68 off 20-odd balls, it doesn’t happen every day.”
“Need to put your body on the line. The nature of T20 is such that one over can change the momentum. That’s why I never give up. A part of me was saying that the runs needed were too much but I wanted to fight and eventually, we won with five balls spare,” he added.
“The support is good from the boys and I am in a good space so that I can express myself. No ground is big enough for me I guess, I just trust my power. Hand-eye coordination is the key (for low full tosses) as they aren’t easy to hit. I try short arm jabs as extending the arms can put you in trouble. Can’t explain much, rather show that on the field (grins widely),” Russel concluded as he received the Man of The Match Award.