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Russell cameo contrasts Gayle, Pooran failures but all taste defeat

Monday, April 19, 2021

MUMBAI, India (CMC) — All-rounder Andre Russell sparkled for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) while the batting pair of Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran both failed for Punjab Kings, but all three West Indies players tasted defeat in the Indian Premier League yesterday.

Playing at Wankhede Stadium, openers Mayank Agarwal (69) and KL Rahul (61) struck half-centuries while Gayle managed only 11 and Pooran got just nine to extend their run of poor form before opener Shikhar Dhawan's top score of 92 powered Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket victory with 10 balls to spare.

At MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) inflicted a 38-run defeat on KKR, thanks to half-centuries from Australian Glenn Maxwell (78) and South African A B de Villiers (76).

Russell blasted a robust 31 for KKR but their run chase lacked cohesion and they never threatened a massive target of 205.

The victory for RCB was their third in as many games, keeping them unbeaten and lifting them top of the league with six points while KKR are three places off the bottom with two points from three outings.

Delhi, meanwhile, remained on RCB heels in second on four points, with Kings one from bottom on two points.

Sent in, Kings rattled up an impressive 195 for four off their 20 overs, the main impetus coming from a 122-run opening stand between Agarwal and Rahul.

Agarwal blasted seven fours and four sixes off just 36 balls while Rahul counted seven fours and two sixes in a 51-ball knock before both perished in the space of 17 balls at 141 for two.

Left-handers Gayle and Pooran would have been expected to accelerate the scoring but fell cheaply instead. Gayle holed out to cover off English seamer Chris Woakes in the 17th over while Pooran swatted a low wide full toss from pacer Avesh Khan to deep point in the 19th.

Dhawan then lashed 13 fours and two sixes in a 49-ball innings, posting 59 for the first wicket with Prithvi Shaw (32), 48 for the second wicket with Australian Steve Smith (9) and a further 45 for the third with Captain Rishabh Pant (15), before Marcus Stonis's cameo 13-ball unbeaten 27 put his side over the line.

In Chennai, RCB battled back from nine for two in the second over — thanks to Maxwell who belted nine fours and three sixes off 49 balls and put on 86 for the third wicket with Devdutt Padikkal (25) and 53 for the fourth with de Villiers.

Once Maxwell departed in the 17th over, de Villiers added 56 with Kyle Jamieson (11 not out), striking nine fours and three sixes off 34 balls to propel RCB to 204 for four off their 20 overs.

In reply, KKR slumped to 114 for five in the 14th over, with Captain Eoin Morgan (29), Rahul Tripathi (25) and Shubman Gill (21) all getting starts but failing to carry on.

Russell entered to briefly raise KKR's hopes, carving out three fours and two sixes in a 20-ball knock before becoming one of pacer Harshal Patel's two wickets, dragging on the first delivery of the final over.