Barely a couple of hours before his 31st birthday, Andre Russell took centre stage at the Eden Gardens, scoring a breathtaking 80* off 40 balls. His blitz with the bat helped his side Kolkata Knight Riders register the highest total of IPL 2019 – 232/2 – and in the end win the match by a comfortable 34 runs to end an 8-match losing streak against Mumbai Indians on Sunday. Russell played a crucial role with the ball too, he picked up the important wickets of Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav just after the Powerplay and gave away only 25 runs in his 4 overs.
After the match, Russell won hearts by starting his birthday celebrations with KKR’s special fan Harshul Goenka, who has been a regular at every KKR match at the Eden Gardens despite fighting a prolonged battle with cerebral palsy. Russell shook hands with Anshul and posed for photographs before joining his teammates in the dressing room.
The wild celebrations began after Russell entered the dressing room. He was given a cake facial by his teammates Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine and captain Dinesh Karthik even as the rest of the KKR players were busy filming the incident.
Russell’s wife Jassym Lora was also present at the Eden Gardens to make the occasion special for the all-rounder.
Russell has been in fantastic form for KKR this IPL. He has so far scored 486 runs in 12 matches at a mind-boggling strike rate of 207.69. The West Indian all-rounder has also picked up 10 wickets with the ball. Moreover, in the five matches that KKR have won this season, Russell has been adjudged the Player of the Match in four of those.
If KKR has to somehow sneak into the IPL 2019 play-offs then Russell will have to carry his form in the last two must-win games of the franchise.
Apr 29, 2019 10:59 IST
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