Is Andre Russell the most valuable T20 player in the world? He has the stats (and the Smart Stats) to back such a claim, and on Monday he added to his vast body of work with a brief and brutal assault that transformed the mood of what had until then been an edgy battle for first-innings points.
Russell came in with Kolkata Knight Riders 113 for 4 in the 14th over. He departed 22 balls later, having added 61 to his team’s total in the company of the impressive Nitish Rana. He only faced 12 balls, but he hit six of them for six.
Knight Riders finished with exactly 200. This was a difficult target against Knight Riders’ spin attack, on a pitch offering a good amount of turn. Delhi Daredevils needed a strong start; they ended up slipping to 24 for 3. It was all uphill from there, and Daredevils didn’t have the legs for the climb, with none of their batsmen getting into double figures apart from Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell, who threatened briefly to make this a contest with a 62-run stand for the fourth wicket in 33 balls.
Daredevils were bowled out for 129, with 5.4 overs still to play.
Summarized scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 200 for 9 (Rana 59, Russell 41, Tewatia 3-18) beat Delhi Daredevils 129 (Maxwell 47, Pant 43, Narine 3-18, Kuldeep 3-32) by 71 run