Russell’s blitzkrieg help KKR beat Sunrisers

Andre Russell spoilt David Warner’s dream return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) with an unbeaten 19-ball 49 as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by six wickets in their campaign opener at the Eden Gardens, here on Sunday.

Russell came in to bat in the 16th over with KKR needing 68 off 27 balls chasing 182 for victory just after a well-settled Nitish Rana  was removed by Rashid Khan.

Rana was sent to open the innings as Sunil Narine faced fitness issues.

Russell, a veteran of T20s, took Siddharth Kaul for 19 runs in the 18th over, followed by 21 off Sunrisers stand-in skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar, to bring the equation down to 13 off the last over. Shubman Gill (18 not out) — who joined hands with Russell for a 65-run fifth wicket stand — then hit two sixes off Shakib Al Hasan to complete a remarkable chase for the home team with two balls to spare. KKR finished with 183/4 in 19.4 overs.

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