Andre Russell and Chris Gayle main attraction as KKR to host Kings XI Punjab at Eden

Kolkata, Mar 26 : Two muscular Caribbeans are expected to keep the
crowds on their toes when they play against each other as Kolkata Knight
Riders (KKR) will host Kings XI Punjab at their season-12 VIVO IPL second
match at Eden Gardens here on Wednesday.
Both the West Indians cricketers Andre Russell for KKR and Chris Gayle
of Punjab excelled in their department in their first play respectively of the
season and open up a new challenge in the remaining plays.
Thirty-year-old Andre Russell from Jamaica after picking up 2/32, made
19-ball-49 to lead a six-wicket victory for KKR over former winners Sunrisers
Hyderabad, which played pretty good batting with 181 for three wickets at
Eden Gardens on Sunday. Andre Russell made his franchisee owner and
Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan dance while he was hitting sixes at Eden
KKR head coach Jacques Kallis has termed Andre Russell as one of the
most powerful hitters he has ever seen after the Windies batsman went
berserk.
His country senior Chris Gayle (39) also had brilliant batting 47-ball-79-run
that led Kingsmen to win by 14-run against host Rajasthan Royals on Monday.
KKR scored 54 runs in 16 deliveries to get to their target while Kingsmen
sparked a late collapse to win from a difficult position in their match.
Both teams looked in good touch and will not need to tinker too much with
their playing combination at Eden Gardens.
Andre Russell returned to IPL after a long layoff and showed just what he
can do immediately.
However, three other overseas players Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, and Lockie
Ferguson could not make the local fans happy.
Player from Auckland Ferguson is a bowler of worth persisting with.
KKR’s Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill also showed their gritty batting. Rana
opened the batting and scored 68 of 47 balls while Gill smashed two sixes in
the last over to win the first match.
With Robin Uthappa, captain Dinesh Karthik, and West Indian mysterious
slow bowler Sunil Narine also in the batting order and the unit is very strong.
Slow bowlers like Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav also can havoc if pitch
favours spinners. In the first match the batsmen dominated the game.
On the other hand Kings XI Punjab side headed Ravichandran Ashwin
made their presence felt in the first away game.
Though Ashwin run-out of Jos Buttler sparked off controversy and the
bowler did not violet any cricketing rules.
Kingsmen played really good cricket in patches. Chris Gayle continued
his return to an incredible run of form with 79 off 47 balls.
It was a typical Gayle inning that was filled with dot balls for the first half
and sixes in the second half.
Mayank Aggarwal ( 22), Sarfaraz Khan ( unbeaten 46) , bowlers Mujib
Ur Rahman 2/31, Ankit Rajput 2/33 made the most of his opportunity in
the first play in Jaipur.
The real trouble for the Kings XI batting lineup is going to be consistency.
Chris Gayle cannot be the only player scoring runs and winning matches
for the side. Support from some of their senior batsmen is a minimum that
the Kings XI Punjab can hope for, however, a lot will depend on Lokesh
Rahul.
The bowling strength for Kingsmen is spinners. Ravi Ashwin and Mujeeb
Ur Rahman and Mohammad Shami are very consistent in picking up wickets
and keeping the runs low.
Play starts at 8 PM

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