Andre Russell turned the tables in favour of KKR with a feisty knock © IANS
Andre Russell turned the tables in favour of KKR with a feisty knock © IANS

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) beat the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by four wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 match at Pune. At a time when KKR looked out of the contest, they hit back to record a fantastic victory. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks back at the highlights of the game.

Kings XI Punjab’s surprising changes: Who would have thought that David Miller would be out of the side? However, KXIP benched him and brought in Thisara Perera as the fourth overseas player for this game. Gurkeerat Singh Mann was brought in as a batsman, with Rishi Dhawan, the all-rounder making way. It was a bit surprising considering the fact that Miller has been one of the talismans for KXIP. Updates: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders’s early spell: There was hostility with the way KKR bowled upfront. They had the men around the bat for Virender Sehwag and Morne Morkel was up for the challenge. The good spell created a lot of pressure on KXIP and it was never easy for them through the innings. Live Scorecard: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders

George Bailey’s fifty: With wickets falling, George Bailey was one man who held firm and managed to push the KXIP innings forward. His fifty helped KXIP move to 155 and ensured that they did not fold up. He had to be largely cautious and pick his opportunities to score. Andre Russell’s blitz helps Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by 4 wickets

Kings XI Punjab strike early: KXIP made things tougher for KKR when they struck early and picked up two wickets. That dented KKR early and they then needed stability to ensure their run-chase gets back on track.

Suryakumar Yadav’s two sixes: Suryakumar Yadav’s good little innings was entertaining to watch. The biggest highlight was his strategy to Mitchell Johnson. He walked across his stumps and flicked one over fine-leg for six. And then, he managed another six over square-leg.

Sandeep Sharma’s remarkable spell: If KXIP had any chance of victory, it was due to a remarkable early spell by Sandeep Sharma. Using the conditions well, he got movement and troubled the batsmen to record figures of four for 25. In the eighth over, he dismissed Gautam Gambhir and Ryan ten Doeschate off consecutive deliveries to reduce KKR to 60 for five. Andre Russell played out the hat-trick ball.

Andre Russell’s 66: There was a touch of audacity to Andre Russell’s innings of 66. Such was the knock that even an aggressive batsman like Yusuf Pathan slipped into the background. Pathan reduced his role to working he strike over and handing it over to his teammate. Russell smashed it around with ease and toyed with the bowlers during his innings. In total, he smashed nine fours and two sixes. In the end, KKR won it quite easily and KXIP had no chance when he got going.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)