R Ashwin was left fuming after Andre Russell had a lucky escape at the Eden Gardens. Kings XI Punjab were under the pump after hard-hitting fifties from Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa. Russell’s presence at the crease was meant KXIP had a bigger threat to deal with.
However, Mohammed Shami removed the explosive Andre Russell with a sharp yorker. KXIP were thrilled. Shami asked the umpire for his cap because he thought it was the end of his over but no – there was high drama to follow. The umpire suddenly ruled it a no-nall as there were only three fielders inside the circle – there needed to be at least four.
Kings XI Punjab’s players were surprised and as the realisation donned on them, skipper R Ashwin was livid. It is not yet clear whether it was the captain’s mistake or whether the fourth fielder had stepped outside the circle before the ball was bowled.
In KXIP’s season opener against Rajasthan Royals on Monday, Ashwin had courted controversy when he Mankaded Jos Buttler; Royals were cruising in their chase of 185 at that stage but went on to lose by 14 runs.
IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 27, 2019
On Wednesay at the Eden Gardens, Ashwin had a torrid time with the ball, leaking 47 runs off his 4 overs. He was gutted towards the end of the innings when Russell got to take fresh guard because of what was an elementary mistake on the field.
The free hit produced only one run but Andre Russell smashed Andre Tye for two fours and two sixes in the next over. And then in the 19th over, he rubbed it in for Shami by hitting him for three sixes and a four.
Russell eventually fell to Andrew Tye for a 17-ball 48 on the fourth ball of the 19th ball but he had already done a lot of damage by then.
Ashwin and Kings XI Punjab knew what a costly mistake it was – you don’t give Russell a second chance. O Sunday, he had smashed 49 not out off 19 balls to stun Sunrisers Hyderabad. On Wednesday, his fireworks left KXIP dazed.