Andre Russell has been Kolkata Knight Riders‘ standout performer in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season. The hard-hitter from Jamaica is in devastating form this season, having scored 377 runs from nine games, including three fifties. In just 9 games, he has hit a staggering 39 sixes in addition to 23 fours. One can take a measure of his impact from the fact that he has won the Man of the Match awards in three of the four wins Knight Riders have achieved this season.
On Saturday, Russell nearly took his side to another breathtaking win but the Knight Riders eventually fell short by just 10 runs while chasing an improbable 213 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Asked to bat first, the Royal Challengers rode on their skipper Virat Kohli’s century and Moeen Ali’s whirlwind fifty to put up the huge total.
‘In reply, the Knight Riders were off to a disastrous start which eventually made the difference in the game as they lost a close contest. The two-time champions eventually fell short by just 10 runs. Knight Riders were reeling at 79 for 4 in 11.5 overs when Russell joined Nitish Rana in the middle. The two then launched a stunning counterassault to nearly stun Royal Challengers. Russell scored 65 from just 25 balls while Rana remained unbeaten on 85.
And with Russell not getting enough support from his teammates, Knight Riders boss Shah Rukh Khan, took to social media to ask the rest of the players to step up their game and help Russell by winning a few matches.
“I feel it’s only fair for KKR to do something in return for Andre Russell, like winning a few before the season ends,” Shah Rukh Khan tweeted.
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 19, 2019
Following the loss against Royal Challengers, Russell had himself lashed out at his teammates, saying he was not happy with the team’s performance.
“When you lose cricket games like this, it’s a sweet and sour feeling. The guys tried very hard tonight. Just a four and a six would have taken us over the line. But we have a lot to learn from this game,” Russell said.
“I’m disappointed, to be honest. We lost the game in the middle even though we should have restricted RCB for less than 200. The ball was in our court and we tossed the ball on their side. To lose by 10 runs, its just two hits away. In the middle period, if we scored a bit faster we would definitely get the runs with even balls to spare,” Russell added.
The Knight Riders have now lost their fourth game in a row. They are now sixth in the table with 4 wins and 5 losses.