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Andre Russell, Umesh Yadav power Kolkata to a crushing win over Punjab

Kolkata climbed to the helm of the points table as they picked up a comprehensive win over Punjab in the eighth game of the Indian T20 League. Having won the toss, Kolkata put Punjab in to bat. The team got off to a good start, adding 43 in the 4th over. However, they lost their way and a sensational spell by Umesh Yadav, where he took 4 wickets, restricted Punjab to a paltry 137.

Just as when it looked like it will be an easy win for Kolkata, Punjab stormed back into the match, courtesy of a brilliant spell by Rahul Chahar. At one point, Kolkata were reeling at 51-4 and the target looked a fair distance away. However, a brutal knock of 70 runs by Andre Russell helped Kolkata cruise to a win by 6 wickets with over five overs to spare.

Here is what the skippers have to say.

Shreyas Iyer | Winning captain: We were stunned by Punjab’s approach. We didn’t expect them to come so hard at us in the initial overs after losing an early wicket. But that’s what I looked to do as well. We got early wickets in the powerplay. My plan was to keep my best bowlers for their hard-hitters. And that’s why I kept Varun and Sunil for late. They made my job easy. They come out with their own strategies. They know what their plans are for the batsmen. They know what they are doing. To be honest, it was great to see Russell hitting. It was Russell Muscle. Umesh told me that he was getting older, but I told him that he was getting fitter. I see him wherever I go, at the gym, and he is working very hard. I know how to get the work done from him, and he has been a wonderful colleague.

Mayank Agarwal | Punjab captain: We didn’t bat well enough. We showed some real fight with the ball initially and then Dre Russ came in and got going. Credit to him for taking the game away from us like that. I think it was a 170ish wicket. We started off well but could not capitalize, there were a few soft dismissals. But it is fine as it is the start of the tournament. They (bowlers) pulled it back nicely for us with 4 for 50 we were in the game, but Russell took the game away. There were a lot of positives to take away.

Here are the best reactions to the match.

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