Kings XI Punjab head coach Mike Hesson has rued the no-ball that let-off Andre Russell, before the West Indies all-rounder went on a rampage to guide Kolkata Knight Riders to a 28-run win at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday (March 27). This was KKR’s second victory in as many matches at the 2019 IPL.
Things could have been very different had one of Kings XI Punjab’s fielders not committed a blunder. Russell was batting on three off five deliveries when Mohammed Shami castled him with a yorker. However, the visitors’ joy was short-lived as the umpire called it a no ball after noticing that Kings XI Punjab had only three fielders inside the circle. Russell went on to hit 44 more runs but took only 12 deliveries for them, helping the Knight Riders post 218/4 - the highest total in an IPL game at the venue. In reply, Mayank Agarwal and David Miller hit half-centuries but the 2014 finalists fell short by 28 runs.
"The game changed in the 17th over,” Hesson said.
"I think, we had a plan to Russell that we executed well, and we weren't quite alert enough in the field, and that's where the game changed. It's a fine line when you're bowling to Andre Russell. He's a gamechanger.
"We had a little bit of jubilation and then things turned pretty quickly [with the no-ball]. And then we weren't quite able to turn the last few overs for 12 or 14 runs. Instead, the four [three] overs went for 22 or 24 runs, and the game changed there.”
Meanwhile, Hesson defended the decision to make four changes to the team that had got the better of Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs on Monday.
"Nicholas Pooran was injured so that's a straight swap, since David Miller's a big player for us," Hesson said.
"And then on that surface, we felt that someone who can bowl back-of-a-length like Hardus Viljoen instead of Sam Curran was the way to go. And Hardus bowled really nicely, so those were two big changes.
“And with Andrew Tye coming back in, being a key player, we had to make a decision on overseas players. That's why Varun Chakravarthy came in instead of Mujeeb."
Kings XI Punjab will next face Mumbai Indians in Mohali on Saturday (March 30).
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