KKR defeated the Punjab Kings by five wickets, chasing the winning target of 180 runs from the last ball of the innings, with Russell hitting a 23-ball 43 studded with three fours and as many highs.
Russell bowled PBKS quick Sam Curran in the penultimate over of the innings, hitting the England bowler for three sixes before West India were run out, leaving Rinku Singh to score the winning runs.
Rinku broke a last ball bound to win the match for KKR.
“It’s been ten games, we were all waiting for that innings of Russell to come. He was an innings away, I kept backing him up saying you have done a lot and you will 100 per cent win a game,” said Nitish Rana.
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Rana also admitted he was angry with his bowlers who conceded runs in the last two overs to allow PBKS to score a competitive 179/7.
“This bowl was also a home advantage feel. Our bowlers bowled poorly to death, I was upset we conceded so many because this was a 160-165 run wicket.
Punjab Kings captain Shikhar Dhawan bemoaned the lack of a quality spinner alongside him, though leg spinner Rahul Chahar cast a tight spell.
“I feel like we don’t have a good spinner. When the lefties come in, at one end we have a leg spinner and at the other we have a left arm spinner (Harpreet Brar). That’s where I feel we’re losing some runs. This wicket was also offering rounds, so I feel that’s where we took the hit,” said Shikhar.
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Dhawan looked dejected now that they are fixing relegation.
“I don’t feel so good. We lost the match and it wasn’t an easy pitch to hit and I feel we put up a good aggregate. In the end, they played well.
“It was a fantastic and phenomenal effort from Arshdeep (Singh) and the way he bounced back from the last game, all the credit goes to him. It was quite interesting that he carried the game down to the last ball, so that was really cool.” added Shikhar.
(With inputs from PTI)