Andre Russell of the Kolkata Knight Riders clouts one of his 8 sixes against the Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 1, 2022 Image Credit: IPL Twitter

Match summary: Russell wins it for Kolkata Knight Riders

A 31-ball unbeaten 70 from Andre Russell scripted an easy win for Kolkata Knight Riders against the Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.

Punjab earlier struggled to post 137 after paceman Umesh Yadav returned a four-wicket haul for Kolkata. The Kolkata chase ran into trouble as they lost four early wickets, but Russell ensured there were no hiccups. He took the match to Punjab with 8 towering sixes in a 90-run (off 47 balls) partnership with Sam Billings (24 off 23).

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Kolkata beat Punjab by six wickets

Two more back to back sixes from Russell's blade off the bowling of Livingstone, and Kolkata are home and dry by six wickets. 141/4 in 14.3 overs was made by possible by Russell's unbeaten 70 (31 balls, 8 sixes)

Russell steers Kolkata towards the target

Sixes continue to flow from Andre Russell's bat and his partner Sam Billings is reduced a spectator. But he won't complain as Kolkata are steaming to the target. Kolkata are 134/4 in 14.3 overs, and they should win soon.

Russell blitzes Odean Smith

4, 6, 6, DOT, 6 2nb, 6. 30 runs from an Odean Smith over as Russell savaged the fellow West Indian's bowling. That blitz has hauled the Kolkata chase back on track as Punjab look to stop Russell. Kolkata are 110/4 in 12 overs.

Andre Russell in a hurry

Russell got tired of blocking the balls and launches two gigantic sixes off Harpreet Brar. 17 runs from the over, and Kolkata will breathe easy. The longer Russell is at the crease, the more trouble Punjab will have. 73/4 in 10 overs

Chahar double strike buoys Punjab

A double strike from Rahul Chahar. The leggie lured KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer into a slog sweep that landed in Rabada's hands. He then trapped Nitish Rana in front. Chahar's double-wicket maiden over could be the gamechanger. Kolkata are 51/4 in 7 overs. We are headed towards a tight finish. Small targets can be very tricky. This could be too.

Kolkata make good use of powerplay

Kolkata Knight Riders may have lost two wickets, but they struck 51 in the first 6 overs. That's a good platform for Kolkata to kick on towards the target of 138. Punjab will need a couple more wickets to peg Kolkata back.

Punjab score early breakthroughs

Two wickets in the first five overs. Punjab Kings needed that to clamber back into the match. Venkatesh Iyer lashed out at Odean Smith and Harpreet Brar brings off a stunning catch. Kolkata are 46/2 in 5 overs, and Punjab will feel they are back in the match. But there's still a long way to go.

Punjab strike back early against Kolkata

Punjab Kings wanted an early wicket to stifle the Kolkata Knight Riders. After all the 138-run target looked below par without early breakthroughs. Rabada provided the first wicket dismissing Rahane who looked composed while scoring a 11-ball 12. Captain Shreyas Iyer joins opener Venkatesh Iyer with Kolkata on 14/1 in 2 overs

Umesh Yadav's four-wicket haul gives Kolkata the advantage 

Superb bowling from the Kolkata Knight Riders crippled the batting might of Punjab Kings who crashed to 137 with 10 balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.

Pacemen Umesh Yadav’s four-wicket haul wrested the initiative for Kolkata after Punjab’s Bhanuka Rajaspaksa’s fired a 9-ball 31 with three sixes. After his departure, Punjab batsmen struggled against the disciplined Kolkata attack.

A target of 138 looks within reach of Kolkata, but T20 games can be tricky.

Punjab are all out for 137

Punjab Kings are bowled out for 137 with 10 balls left. A disappointing batting from Punjab. Rabada's big-hitting spree was too good to last. A steepling catch off Andre Russell's bowling is taken by Tim Southee who covered a lot of ground. And Arshdeep Singh was run out soon. Excellent bowling effort from Kolkata.

Rabada takes up the challenge

After struggling against the spinners, Kagiso Rabada strikes two fours and a six against Southee, before carting Mavi for two more fours. Odean Smith is unable to get going. Two more overs to go, Rabada's hitting has raised visions of a score of over 150. Punjab 137/8 in 18 overs

Umesh Yadav on fire for Kolkata

Two wickets in an over for Yadav. First the KKR paceman crashes one through the defences of Harpreet Brar and two balls later takes out Rahul Chahar with a short pitched delivery. At 102/8 in 14.4 overs, Punjab are deep in trouble. Even 150 looks unlikely. 

Kolkata have Punjab on the run

Pressure tells on Punjab. Too many dot balls and Shahrukh tries to break free. Skies Tim Southee to Nitish Rana for a five-ball duck. At 92/6, the Punjab batting might is crumbling against the sustained attack of the Kolkata Knight Riders. 

Double trouble for Punjab

Livingstone is not one to stay strokeless. The Englishman is caught on the long-off fence off Yadav after Kolkata mystery spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine kept the batsmen quiet. Kolkata are gaining a stranglehold on the match with Narine dismissing Raj Bawa. Punjab are 85/5 in 9.4 overs

Big blow for Punjab as Dhawan is out

Just when Shikhar Dhawan was beginning to break free after an early six, the left-hander nicks Tim Southee to keeper Sam Billings. Young Raj Bawa joins Liam Livingstone at the crease. More batting to come. But Kolkata gain upper hand at the end of power play. Punjab 63/3 in 6 overs

Mavi strikes after Rajapaksa's 4, 6, 6, 6

Rajapaksa and Dhawan have made light of the early loss of skipper and have stepped the scoring. Umesh Yadav's second over cost him 14, and Shivam Mavi suffered at the hands of Rajapaksa, who reeled off three sixes in a row before falling to the same bowler who leaked 22 in the over. Rajapaksa's cameo (31 of 9 balls) have lifted Punjab, but Kolkata are glad to see him go. For he threatened to change course of the Kolkata innings. Punjab 43/2 in 4 overs.

Mayank falls to Umesh Yadav

Early blow for the Punjab Kings as their skipper Mayank Agarwal is trapped lbw by an Umesh Yadav delivery that cut back. Mayank and Shikhar Dhawan had set up Punjab's win over RCB. Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dhawan are capable of gathering some quick runs to make the best of powerplay. So still no cause for alarm. But Kolkata will have their tails up. 

Kolkata win the toss, elect to field

The teams

Kolkata Knight Riders: 3 Shreyas Iyer (captain), Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Nitish Rana, Sam Billings (wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy.

Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wicketkeeper), Liam Livingstone, Raj Bawa, Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar, Kagiso Rabada.

Punjab's strong batting gives an edge over Kolkata

The explosive batting of the Punjab Kings will come into sharp focus when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai today.

Captained by Mayank Agarwal, Punjab chased down a stiff target in the opener against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, but their batting might faces a more searching examination against the varied Kolkata attack. Punjab bowling, which looked thin, will be bolstered by the arrival of South African speedster Kagiso Rabada.

The Shreyas Iyer-led Kolkata were victorious in chasing the Chennai Super Kings’ total but failed to post a good score to test the Bangalore batting. Andre Russell’s fitness is a worry for Kolkata, and the West Indian could be replaced by Chamika Karunaratne or Mohammad Nabi.

If Punjab repeat the batting show of the previous match, they can pick up full points from Kolkata.