The Knight Riders from Kolkata took on the Punjab Kings in match number 8 of Tata IPL 2022. Even though KKR had lost their previous game against RCB, their team composition was still amongst the best of the lot.

Moreover, PBKS were playing only their second match of the season. They had won their first encounter against RCB with the help of their formidable batting line-up.

The two teams met each other at the infamous Wankhede Stadium. While the crowd was expecting firecrackers, the match turned out to be a dud as KKR won the game by 6 wickets with 33 balls remaining. Though it didn’t go down to the wire, we were treated by Russell-mania.

Here’s all the action that happened during the eighth fixture of TATA IPL 2022.

Who won the Toss?

The coin dropped in favor of Shreyas Iyer and, unsurprisingly, KKR chose to field first. Both teams made a change each entering into this match. PBKS brought their star bowler Kagiso Rabada in place of Sandeep Sharma, and KKR replaced Sheldon Jackson with Shivam Mavi, strengthening their bowling attack further.

Since Sheldon Jackson was out, Sam Billings kept the wickets for KKR. While many people criticized the decision to drop the youngster, I feel the change was mandated with Russell having a hard time bowling this season.

KKR vs PBKS 1st Innings Highlights

Put into bat by KKR, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal could not give a solid start to their team as the latter fell cheaply to Umesh Yadav in the very first over of the innings. Bhanuka Rajapaksa came at number three for PBKS. The pressure seemed to be building as they could score only 7 runs in the first two overs.

The third over of the match saw some fireworks from the duo of Rajapaksa and Dhawan as they smashed Umesh Yadav for 14 runs. However, a storm awaited Shivam Mavi when he came aboard to bowl the fourth over of the PBKS innings.

Rajapaksa, the left hander from Sri Lanka, took on the Indian youngster and bombarded him with three back-to-back sixes. The first one went over Mid-on, the second was smashed over the long-on fence, while the third was swept handsomely over the square leg boundary.

It was a brilliant show of power hitting by Bhanuka, putting Mavi under the hammer with 22 runs off the first four balls of the over. However, the fifth ball saw him trying to clear the cover fielder but getting caught in the process. Rajapaksa scored 31 off just 9 balls with three boundaries and three sixes.

We had an enthralling show at hand only if the left-hander was more patient at the crease. Nevertheless, when he departed, PBKS were 43-2 in 3.5 overs. Liam Livingstone joined Dhawan at the crease to further the team’s prospects. The England batter creamed Southee over the long-on boundary for a six to declare his arrival.

Just when it seemed the kings were recovering, Shikhar Dhawan fell to Southee, nicking a wide delivery to the keeper. PBKS were 62-3 at the end of the powerplay, and as the field spread outside the circle, Shreyas Iyer introduced Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine to bowl in tandem.

The spin duo made the batters struggle for runs. They gave away only 8 runs in the 12 balls succeeding the powerplay. The pressure created by them helped Umesh Yadav, who bowled the ninth over. He dismissed the dangerous Liam Livingstone for 19 off 16 balls.

Livingstone seemed frustrated after he missed out on a free hit from Umesh. To compensate, he went for a big heave towards the long-off boundary, where Tim Southee caught him carefully. PBKS were now 78-4 after 9 overs.

Shahrukh Khan joined Raj Bawa at the crease, but the latter was dismissed by Sunil Narine in the very next over. It was a jaffa from Narine knocking Bawa’s off stump after he had hit him for a boundary off the previous ball.

Runs further dried as Harpreet Brar came in at number seven for PBKS. They were reduced to 86-5 in 11 overs. Towards the end of the twelfth over, Brar hit Narine for a six towards the mid-wicket region. Shreyas brought Tim Southee back into the attack, and the pacer got rid of Shahrukh Khan on the very first delivery, bringing Odean Smith to the crease.

In 13 overs, PBKS were 97-6. Their run rate was under control, but the wickets column worried them. However, the 15th over from Umesh threw them out of the game as the pacer logged two wickets without giving a run.

Yadav dismissed Brar (out bowled) and Rahul Chahar (out caught). The two-wicket maiden from Umesh brought PBKS down to 102-8 in 15 overs. However, a late flurry from Rabada took their total to 137-8 in 18 overs. He smashed the 17th over from Southee for 16 runs, hitting the latter for 2 boundaries and a six.

However, PBKS couldn’t trouble the scorers more as they lost 2 wickets in two balls in the 19th over, ending at 138-10 in 18.2 overs.

KKR’s disciplined bowling performance was led by Umesh Yadav and the spin duo of Narine and Varun. The target was gettable but not as easy as it seemed.

KKR vs PBKS 2nd Innings Highlights

With a low total to defend, PBKS did not have a good first over from Arshdeep Singh, who gave away 8 runs. Ajinkya Rahane smashed him for two classy fours to begin the proceedings for KKR. However, the newcomer Kagiso Rabada produced a breakthrough for his team, getting Rahane caught at short third-man.

KKR were 14-1 when their skipper, Shreyas Iyer, joined Venkatesh Iyer at the crease. He seemed to be connecting sweetly as the KKR captain hit two consecutive boundaries off Arshdeep Singh. In just 8 balls, Shreyas reached 20 runs, hitting four boundaries in the process.

On the contrary, the other Iyer was having another bad day. He eventually departed for 3 runs from 7 balls. Venkatesh needed some luck to get going but didn’t find any. He was caught brilliantly by Brar at point, who had only minimal time to react.

Billings came at number 4 for KKR and started his innings with a boundary off Odean Smith. By the end of the powerplay, KKR were 51-2, inching closer to victory. In such tiring times, Mayank went to his wicket-taking spinner, Rahul Chahar. And contrary to the belief that Indian batters are good players of spin, Chahar sent Shreyas and Nitish Rana packing.

While the KKR skipper was caught by Kagiso Rabada while trying to sweep, Nitish Rana was trapped in front on the second ball of his innings. Suddenly, the match was wide open for both sides. Andre Russell came in at number 6 for KKR, down to 51-4 after 7 overs.

Some good bowling from PBKS bowlers put further pressure on the KKR batters, and they could score only 5 in the next two overs. Soon after the strategic time-out, Russell changed gears and smashed Harpreet Brar for two massive sixes.

The power-hitting from Dre Russ had only begun as he took on his West Indian counterpart, Odean Smith, in the 12th over of the innings. Russell hammered Smith for 3 sixes and a boundary while Billings also joined the party with a maximum. Odean gave away 30 runs in what seemed to be the game-changing over for KKR.

Russell charged him towards almost every corner of the ground, beginning with the fine leg boundary and going till the straight fence. KKR now needed only 29 runs off 48 balls. The next over from Chahar brought some calmness to the Wankhede, with just five runs coming from it. The leg spinner finished his spell with figures of 4-1-13-2.

Runs were back in the next over by Arshdeep, who went for 14. Russell shattered the last ball of his over towards the cover region for another maximum. The mammoth Andre Russell continued his heroics and finished the game in the 15th over, charging Liam Livingstone for two consecutive sixes.

KKR scored 85 runs in 33 balls after being 56-3 in 9 overs to seal the match. The majority of the moolah came from Russell’s bat, who remained unbeaten at 70 (31), hitting 8 sixes and 2 fours.

Best Performances for KKR

In the bowling department, Umesh Yadav picked up 4 wickets, giving away only 23 runs in his quota of 4 overs.

The best batter for KKR was Andre Russell. He scored 70 off 31 with 8 sixes and 2 fours.

Best Performances for PBKS

The Punjab team hardly had anything to celebrate in the batting department. It was Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s cameo of 31 from 9 balls that stole the limelight early on.

While bowling, PBKS had a star in Rahul Chahar, who took 2 wickets and went for only 13 runs in his four overs.

KKR vs PBKS Interesting Moments

Running Catch from Southee

In the 19th over, Tim Southee ran from the long-on boundary to mid-off and completed a stunning catch diving forward. Probably, the best you will see in a long time.

Click here to watch the catch from Southee to dismiss Kagiso Rabada.

Harpreet Brar Catches a Bullet.

The fifth over of the KKR innings saw the fall of Venkatesh Iyer, who hit a bullet-speed shot towards point, where Harpreet Brar was stationed.

He had almost less than a second to react, and he even fumbled but caught the ball eventually. You can watch his catch here.

The Bad Bounce

Russell played a grounded shot on the fifth ball of the 12th over (no ball) towards square leg. However, owing to a horrendous bad bounce, the ball almost rose to newer heights as it went to the fielder. The incident was overshadowed by the no-ball and the power-hitting by Andre Russell.

Umpire’s Epic Reaction to a Russell Shot

Andre Russell was on a roll tonight. In the 14th over by Arshdeep Singh, he smoked a straight drive to the fence for a boundary.

The ball almost hit the bowler before pushing the umpire down in fear. However, it was a priceless reaction from umpire Anil Chaudhary that followed.

Click here to watch the video.

Here’s his reaction:

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