An outstanding effort by Andre Russell went in vain when Gujarat Titans beat his Kolkata Knight Riders by eight runs in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Russell smacked 48 runs off 25 deliveries and took four wickets in an over, but Kolkata faltered in its chase in the death overs.
Gujarat was atop of the standings, Hyderabad second on run rate, Bangalore fourth, and Kolkata seventh after a fourth straight loss.
Hardik Pandya top-scored with 67 in Gujarat’s 156-9. In reply, Kolkata topped out at 148-.
Gujarat bucked the trend in this IPL and became the first side to bat after winning the toss.
Pandya, returning from a groin injury, promoted himself to No. 3 and made the move pay off. His third half-century came off 36 balls. Overall, he hit four fours and two sixes.
Pandya and Wriddhiman Saha put on 75 runs for the second wicket. Then the skipper put on another 50 runs off 35 balls with David Miller.
Kolkata fought back with Miller’s dismissal in the 17th over, then Tim Southee dismissed Pandya and Rashid Khan in the 18th to leave Gujarat 140-5.
Russell collected four wickets for five runs in the final over as Gujarat lost its last seven wickets for just 23 runs.
Kolkata was rocked at the start of its chase by Gujarat’s pace attack of Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal, and Lockie Ferguson, falling to 34-4 in 6.1 overs.
At 98-6 in the 14th over, Russell showed off his hitting prowess with six sixes and a four in 25 balls, but when he holed out off Alzarri Joseph in the final over, Kolkata’s hopes ended.
Captain Shreyas Iyer was not happy with the performance of the bowlers.
“We have lost close games, which is disappointing. The energy is high before the game, but we are unable to utilize it during the contest,” he added.