The Kolkata Knight Riders registered their fifth win in IPL 2016, defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday, all thanks to some massive hitting from Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir showered praise on his powerful hitters, who took the game away from RCB in the latter stages of the match.
The RCB bowlers started on a bright note with the ball, picking up Robin Uthappa in the first over. It was a massive setback for KKR, who were chasing 186 runs to win. Things looked even more worse for KKR as they lost their fourth wicket for 69 runs on the board.
Gambhir still had hopes of a win with powerful batsmen like Yusuf and Russell at the batting crease. The duo did not disappoint as they hit fours and sixes at will all around the wicket with constant ease. Russell scored 24-ball 39, which comprised one four and four sixes, and KKR also drew closer to a win, but the West Indian was dismissed in the 18th over.
However, Yusuf remained till the end of the innings, and helped his team cross the finishing line, scoring 29-ball 60, including six fours and three sixes. The right-hander even hit Shane Watson for 24 runs in one over.
Gambhir lauded both the players for their incredible innings in Bengaluru.
"Unbelievable knock from Russell and Yusuf. The way we started with the bat, not upto the mark. Especially at this ground, we knew 12 or 13 can be chaseable. Just a matter of hanging in there. We knew Surya could be dangerous as a finisher. Started very professionally. Morne came back very well," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Gambhir as saying.
Though Yusuf scored 60 runs, Russell won the Man of the Match award for his all-round performance. The West Indian also bowled economically against the strong RCB batsmen, and picked up a single wicket, besides scoring 39 runs.
"Important game for us, we had to come back strong. We (Russell and Yusuf) are two strong guys. Pleasure to bat with Yusuf," Russell said.
Had AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle fired with the bat in the first innings for RCB, things could have been different for the home team, who have lost five games in IPL 2016.