Andre Russell hit his maiden IPL fifty against KXIP © IANS (File Photo)
Andre Russell hit his maiden IPL fifty against KXIP © IANS (File Photo)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) beat Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 4 wickets in Match 14 of the eight edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Saturday. The victory was courtesy a superb knock from Andre Russell who stepped up at the right time hitting his maiden IPL fifty to get this team back to winning ways.

KKR did not have the best of starts as Robin Uthappa was dismissed for his third low score in as many games in IPL 2015. Sandeep Sharma took his second wicket when he had Manish Pandey caught at mid-wicket by Bailey. Surya Kumar Yadav like the other two was also quick to get going and plundered 15 runs off Mitchell Johnson‘s first over to signal his intents. But he too like the early two, failed to convert his start. Live Updates: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders

KXIP were more than happy to keep taking wickets as KKR were scoring runs but were also giving them chances. Bailey called back Sandeep for his final over and that move worked wonders as he took out Gambhir and trapped Ryan ten Doeschate to reduce KKR to 60 for five in just the ninth over of the chase. He finished with figures of four for 25 but he will be disappointed that his team-mates did not back up his good work.

Russell and Yusuf Pathan then got together and hit some lusty blows to the fence. Russell was very good on picking the right balls to go for the big shots. He was particularly harsh on Akshar Patel, hitting him for 19 runs in an over. KXIP were not quite upto the mark and Russell made them pay for it. KXIP’s bowling after the new ball has not been good so far in the tournament and it returned to haunt them today. Live Scorecard: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Russell scored his maiden IPL fifty and ensured that his team won the game. He shared a 95-run stand with Yusuf Pathan. KXIP did not have a good time on the field and to add to their misery, their captain Bailey hurt his shoulder in the process of stopping the ball. With 18 runs needed, Russell did give KXIP a chance but of all people, Glenn Maxwell dropped a sitter. He was bowled for 66 by Johnson but KKR only needed 1 run to win the game and Piyush Chawla, their preferred winning runs hitter won them the game with a typical waft to third man fence for a boundary.

Earlier, KKR had won the toss and they put KXIP into bat. The move worked wonders for them as the KXIP top order was blown away by the KKR pacers.  Maxwell and Bailey had to grind and put them back on track with a 63-run stand. Runs were not quite easy to come by for them as the bowling was good from KKR. Maxwell fell for 33 as KXIP kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Bailey held one end.

Bailey scored his second IPL fifty, his second one of the tournament and led the team with the bat to post a good total. Sunil Narine finally got off the mark in IPL 2015 wickets column, he picked up just the one wicket though in his spell. Umesh Yadav was the pick of the bowlers with three for 33 in his spell. He got good carry and bounce from the surface and was instrumental in keeping KXIP in check.

KXIP will be disappointed with the way they have played in the tournament. Their batting has not quite come off and their bowling lacks the bite after their new ball effort. KKR will be happy with the two points from the game. They suffered a top-order collapse but their middle order stepped up at the right time. They will go ahead in the tournament with good momentum while KXIP will have some soul searching to do for their bowling performance.

Brief scores:

Kings XI Punjab 155 for 9 in 20 overs (George Bailey 59, Glenn Maxwell 33; Umesh Yadav 3 for 33) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 159 for 6 (Andre Russell 66, Yusuf Pathan 28*; Sandeep Sharma 4 for 25) by 4 wickets.

Man of the Match: Andre Russell

Full scorecard

(Nikhil Popat is a cricket lover and a PotterHead. He can be followed on Twitter @CricCrazyNIKS)