Andre Russell proved to be the difference in the end as Kolkata Knight Riders surpassed Sunrises Hyderabad’s resistance in their opening match of the Indian Premier League. The big West Indies all-rounder was is in terrific touch and his bullet shots came handy for the two-time winners.

Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, who was there at the Eden Gardens, has thanked the fans for their unconditional support. He revealed that Andre Russell was touched by the love of KKR fans that he wanted to cry after the game.

Chasing a target of 182 runs, KKR were under the pump when they lost Chris Lynn early but Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa stitched a 80-run partnership to steady the ship. However, with dismissals of Uthappa, Karthik and Rana, it looked all over for the team before Russell started his onslaught and then there was no looking back for the maestro.

He scored 49 runs off 19 balls, which included four sixes and as many boundaries.

“@Russell12A said to me that he was so overwhelmed with the welcome fans gave him, that he wanted to cry. Then decided big boys don’t cry in public. @NitishRana_27 @robbieuthappa & @RealShubmanGill & the whole team plays for You Kolkata. Thk u for the Love (sic),” Shah Rukh Khan wrote on Twitter.

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