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Russell’s heroics all in vain for Kolkata

An outstanding allround display by Andre Russell has gone in vain as Gujarat Titans beat his Kolkata Knight Riders side by eight runs in the Indian Premier League.

The West Indian star smacked 48 runs off 25 deliveries at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumai after earlier having taken four wickets in a single over, but Kolkata faltered in their chase in the death overs on Saturday.

In the day’s other game at the DY Patil Stadium, Sunrisers Hyderabad routed Royal Challengers Bangalore by nine wickets for a fifth successive win.

Bangalore were all out for 68, the sixth lowest total in IPL history, and Hyderabad needed only 7.4 overs to race to a win.

Gujarat now top the standings, Hyderabad are second on run rate, with Bangalore fourth and Kolkata seventh after a fourth straight loss.

Hardik Pandya top-scored with 67 in Gujarat’s 9-156, with Kolkata falling just short, at 8-148.

Gujarat bucked the trend in this IPL, becoming 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 as he went on to hit four fours and two sixes.

Pandya and Wriddhiman Saha put on 75 for the second wicket before the skipper put on another 50 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 5-140.

Russell then got into the action, collecting four wickets in the final over as Gujarat lost their last seven wickets for just 23 runs.

Russell thus ended with the unlikely figures of 1-0-5-4.

Kolkata were rocked at the start of their chase by Gujarat’s pace attack of Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal and Lockie Ferguson, falling to 4-34 in 6.1 overs.

At 6-98 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.

In the later game, Bangalore were stunned as early as the second over when Marco Jansen took three wickets, including Virat Kohli for a first-ball duck.

Thangarasu Natarajan also took 3-10 in three overs, and left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith 2-12 as Bangalore were all out in 16.1 overs for the lowest total this season.

Glenn Maxwell, with his 12 off 11 balls, was one of only two RCB batters to make double figures in the rout.

In the straightforward chase, Abhishek Sharma led with 47 off 28 balls in an opening stand of 64 with Kane Williamson, while Australian Test paceman Josh Hazlewood got taken for 0-31 in his three overs.

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