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Brian Lara bats for Andre Russell’s inclusion in Windies’ playing XI at World Cup

In-form Russell has been boon for Knight Riders in this edition of IPL which can help him seal World Cup spot for Windies

Andre Russell
Andre Russell. (Photo: IANS)

Andre Russell was at it again and this time Royal Challengers Bangalore were at the receiving end. For the large of the game between RCB and Kolkata Knight Riders at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday, the home side was pretty much at the top. After being asked to bat first, Royal Challenges made sure to make Knight Riders regret their decision to bowl first.

Skipper Virat Kohli was looking in his elements as he scored his first fifty after seven innings. Kohli was well supported by AB de Villiers as the two added 108 runs for the second wicket. While Kohli scored 84, de Villiers scored 63 before Marcus Stoinis’ cameo fired the Royal Challengers to 205/3 in 20 overs. In reply, the Knight Riders started off well but soon found themselves in a tight spot.

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With 66 runs needed from the final four overs, it looked all over for the two-time IPL champions. However, Andre Russell had some other ideas. Fresh off his knocks against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals, the Jamaican blew away Royal Challengers by smashing 48 from just 13 deliveries. His 13-ball knock was studded with a mind-boggling seven sixes and a four as the Knight Riders sensationally crossed the line with 5 balls remaining.

And legendary Brian Lara was impressed by Russell’s heroics that he went on to say that the allrounder should be in the Windies playing eleven for the upcoming World Cup with ‘any other 10’.

“WINDIES TEAM FOR 2019 WORLD CUP @Russell12A and any other 10 … 📸 @KKRiders,” wrote Lara.

‘I was confident’

Speaking while receiving his third Man of the Match award this season, Russell said he was confident about pulling off the chase.

“I was confident when I went out to bat. Dinesh Karthik was telling me to take a few balls to see how the pitch is behaving. I was watching in the dugout on TV and had a fair idea. When you need 68 off 20-odd balls, it doesn’t happen everyday. Need to put your body on the line. The nature of T20 is such that one over can change the momentum. That’s why I never give up. A part of me was saying that the runs needed were too much but I wanted to fight and eventually, we won with five balls spare,” he said.

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