After a stellar partnership between Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell walked into a standing ovation. However, it was not a very fluent start for the big Jamaican as the Kings XI bowlers executed their plans perfectly.
Mohammed Shami, who has been excellent in the recent past, came from around the wicket and nailed the perfect yorker which slipped under the bat of Russell and crashed into the stumps. Russell was on his way back, Eden was stunned, when the umpire intervened. He had his arm outstretched, signalled a no ball, there were only three fielders inside the 30-yard circle.
Russell walked back, took guard again and then displayed his power, brutality, brawl, as he plundered the KXIP bowling attack. 5 sixes, 3 fours later, he was racing along on 48 off 17 balls when he was caught in the deep brilliantly by Mayank Agarwal.
The spotlight was back on R Ashwin as he gesticulated towards his fielders and this slip up on the field proved to be very costly for the visitors as KKR raced past 200 and posted 218 runs in the first innings.
“We started off good and then Nitish played a good anchor role with Robbie and then Russ did come in and did his stuff. Nice to be at the top and nice to get a good start. Having said that, it’s a good wicket and even though we made 200 something I think we still have to bowl quality balls and pick up early wickets. Once he (Russell) is at the crease, you never know what could happen; you can get 20-30 in an over, it’s the key for us. In the first six there isn’t much turn, probably after eight overs there could be some spin. We will see how the wicket behaves and let’s hope we can defend this score,” Sunil Narine said after the innings.