Watch: Andre Russell smashed three sixes off Sam Curran‘s penultimate over during Kolkata Knight Riders’ clash against Punjab Kings at the Eden Gardens on Monday (May 8, 2023.

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With KKR needing 26 to win off 12 balls, all eyes were on Curran and Russell. Prior to Monday, Russell had not set the tournament alight, while Curran is considered one of the better death bowlers going around. The England all-rounder, though, felt the pinch straightaway as he missed his line and length on the second ball of the over.

It landed in the slot on the leg stump and Russell manufactured enough swinging room for himself, whipping it over deep mid-wicket. The next ball also pitched right in Russell’s hitting arc. The all-rounder wound up and clubbed it well over the deep mid-wicket fence. Curran then bowled a dot outside off stump but was dispatched over deep point off the fifth ball, reducing the equation to seven runs required off seven balls.

Russell could not take his team past the finish line and was run out in the last over. Rinku Singh, however, saved the day for KKR again, smashing a boundary off the last ball of the match to secure a five-wicket win for his team. While Rinku will understandably garner plaudits for how he finished the game, it was arguably Russell’s knock that set it up.

The all-rounder, just when KKR would have wanted him to turn up, rose to the occasion. KKR now have 10 points from 11 games and could still qualify for the playoffs. Russell, unsurprisingly, could be a crucial player for KKR in this upcoming phase.

Watch Andre Russell hitting Curran for three sixes in the 19th over here: