Mumbai: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings was taken by surprise by West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell’s innings of 70 not out in just 31 balls, leading to two-time IPL champions at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday. defeated Punjab Kings by six wickets.
The 30-year-old England cricketer called Russell the star who can destroy any team with his batting.
Chasing 138 after Punjab Kings were dismissed, KKR were under pressure from Punjab bowlers, reducing them to 51/4 in the eighth over. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar hit the right length as KKR could manage only 10 runs off 23 balls, while losing two wickets in the form of Nitish Rana and skipper Shreyas Iyer.
What happened after that was worth watching. The West Indies all-rounder hit two sixes off left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar in the 10th over, scoring 17 runs. Russell then picked up his Jamaican counterpart Odion Smith for the wash, hitting three sixes and a four in front of Billings.
In the 15th over, Russell chased down the target with three more sixes.
Billings said, “It was for me to keep the match there and support him (Russell).
Billings said, “He is a star and I wanted to see him play his game.” He was batting brilliantly, which surprised me. He can trouble any team with his batting in any match.
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