All-rounder Andre Russell’s unbeaten 38 went in vain as Delhi Capitals beat Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets to register their first win of IPL 2023. In a rain-delayed match, KKR were bowled out for 120 batting first and Roy, along with Jason, top-scored with 43 off 39 balls. Their total could have been much lower had it not been for the late fireworks from Russell that would have taken KKR above 100. Just under 100 after taking two wickets off two balls. The left-arm spinner dismissed Roy and Anukul Roy off back-to-back deliveries and was on a hat-trick. With Rashid Khan already taking a hat-trick, Kuldeep, the only Indian bowler to claim the feat twice in ODIs, had a chance to do so for the first time in the IPL but was stopped by Umesh Yadav. However, more than the hat-trick ball, it was Russell who set the internet abuzz with his unpredictable antics at the non-striker’s end. With Kuldeep ready to run in, Russell took guard at the non-striker’s end with his head towards deep midwicket. Batsmen usually do this as a means of practice, but the fact that Russell was caught in his own world when his team was about to move left users baffled.
Russell, however, did not get distracted by what was happening at the other end. When Umesh got out in the 16th over, Russell took matters into his own hands and gave KKR something to cheer for towards the end. In the final over of the innings, Russell enjoyed a hat-trick of his own as he hit three consecutive sixes, including one that went 109 meters away – the fourth longest six of IPL 2023.
Later, with the ball, Russell could only bowl one over for 12 runs as KKR found themselves defending 120. 93/4. Returning to semblance of form, DC skipper David Warner scored 57 off 41, although he was far from his fluent best – and kept DC chasing. However, once they lost that, KKR smelled an opportunity and had it not been for icy calm Axar Patel, who guided the team home, the result could have been different.
Ishant Sharma: Delhi’s AC mechanic’s son, first came to Team India, now after 717 days in IPLIPL 2023: 6,6,6… Russell showed Caribbean muscle power in the last over, hitting Mukesh Kumar for 3 consecutive sixes
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