Umesh Yadav, Andre Russell starred as KKR outclassed PBKS to lead the points table
Umesh Yadav bowled a superb bowling spell with a four-wicket haul to restrict Punjab Kings to 137 before Andre Russell joined the party with a stunning 31 ball 70 to help KKR chase down the total in less than 15 overs.
Umesh Yadav bowled his dream spell in the IPL with a four-wicket haul before Andre Russell joined the party with a brutal power-hitting to hand Kolkata Knight Riders a six-wicket victory over Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.
The right-arm pacer came out with the figures of 4/23 and played just two games in the league so far after being initially unsold in the IPL auction to produce career-best T20 figures to help his side dismiss PBKS on 137 in 18.2 overs.
It seemed a simple chase at the start but Rahul Chahar raised the hopes for PBKS with a double-wicket maiden to reduce KKR to 51/4.
However, Russell (70* off 31 balls) came out in the middle as a trump card to shift the gears of the game with the raining of sixes, eight in number, to make it a child’s play in 14.3 overs. He smashed three maximums off Odeam Smith in an over that conceded him 30 runs.
No rope was enough to keep the shots of Russell within the boundary. The Jamaican-born also smacked a couple of sixes to Liam Livingstone’s fine leg breaks. KKR sealed their second victory off three games while PBKS suffered their first loss after beating RCB.
Earlier, KKR bowlers were all pumped up to went through the batting order of PBKS.
With dew setting in the latter half of the games, bowling first proved an ideal decision and that is what the skipper Shreyas Iyer called it at the toss.
PBKS, who had earlier chased down 200 plus in their previous match had scored a decent 62/3 in the powerplay.
Umesh who has been proving his critics wrong, bowled a fine spell as he gave a crucial breakthrough to the skipper Mayank Agarwal.
Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa (31 off 9) produced a match-winning knock in the first game, and also looked in fine touch at the Wankhede Stadium.
In his brief stay at the crease, the top-order batter hammered three fours and as many sixes, the majority of them towards the mid-wicket, that gave the spectators something to cheer. His bright innings were the only treat in the despaired batting effort.
Iyer was impressed with his leadership skills as he bought Yadav in the middle to ensure no fightback PBKS and thus introduced a slip that earned him a wicket of Rahul Chahar.
His new-ball partner Tim Southee and KKR’s retained spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine also bowled brilliantly against the opposition.
Livingstone (19 off 16) could not convert his start while India U-19 star Raj Angad Bawa could not find any luck as he did not find the innings going for the second game in a row.
Kagiso Rabada (25 off 16), playing his first game of the season, saved Punjab the blushes by getting much-needed boundaries to take the total close to 140.Kolkata Knight Riders 141 for 4 (Russell 70*, Shreyas 26, Chahar 2-13) beat Punjab Kings 137 (Rajapaksha 31, Umesh 4-23) by six wickets.