The Windies have a plan to manage the workload of Andre Russell at the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales next month. 

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper, Dinesh Karthik, is defending the balance of his team, saying it is not overly dependent on the star power of Andre Russell. 

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara believes the current form of senior players in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign is a real fillip for the region.

With the 2019 World Cup just a little over a month away Windies stars Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have put on some impressive displays with the bat in the IPL to date.  After starting slowly for Mumbai Indians Pollard has picked up steam in recent week, hitting a crucial 46 against Sunrisers Hyderabad before an outrageous 83 against Kings XI Punjab.

Russell has been one of the players of the tournament to date, after scoring 377 runs and claiming seven wickets in 9 matches.

It remains to be seen whether any of the players, who have been outside of the One Day International set-up for several months, will be selected to the final Windies squad.  Lara, however, believes the form of the players makes them nice options to have.

“Cricketers from the West Indies have been doing well in this edition of the Indian Premier League. A few players from other nations are also making good contributions. Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have been pretty consistent and that augurs well for West Indies cricket. Even Chris Gayle has fired on a couple of occasions, but you need to look out for guys who are making contribution regularly,” Lara said.

“The West Indies players bring their whole-hearted effort in every performance. They are not playing for the West Indies national team, so the IPL is their opportunity to shine.”

 

Virat Kohli's fifth Indian Premier League century helped Royal Challengers Bangalore record a much-needed 10-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, despite the best efforts of the in-form Andre Russell.

Captain Kohli led from the front, making an even 100, while Moeen Ali contributed 66 in a hurry as the Royal Challengers posted a formidable score of 213-4 at Eden Gardens.

Kolkata appeared set to fall well short in reply, labouring to 60-3 at the halfway stage following two early wickets for returning paceman Dale Steyn.

However, not for the first time this season, Russell produced an onslaught at the back-end of an innings to suddenly put the game back in the balance.

The West Indian all-rounder hammered nine sixes as he and Nitish Rana (85 not out) put Bangalore on the back foot, getting what seemed a nigh-on impossible equation down to 24 required from the final over.

Russell kept his side's hopes alive by hitting Moeen for six down the ground, leaving the equation at 17 off three, but a dot ball by the England spinner curtailed the Knight Riders' late charge.

The following delivery saw Russell run out for 65 and while Rana finished the game with another six, Bangalore had just about held their nerve under pressure. The victory is just their second of the campaign, though they remain bottom of the table.

 

KOHLI TIMES IT JUST RIGHT

With AB de Villiers not in the starting XI, the pressure on Kohli was even greater to perform for his struggling franchise.

The right-hander needed 40 balls to reach 50 but exploded into life after such a patient start, needing just a further 18 deliveries to make it through to three figures. He reached the milestone in glorious fashion, sending a cover drive to the fence for his ninth four.

Kohli had also smashed four sixes before he was caught off the final ball of the innings having put on 64 with Marcus Stoinis, who ended up unbeaten on 17.

Moeen had earlier dominated a 90-run stand for the third wicket, the England international belting six sixes. 

 

STEYN RUINS KOLKATA CHASE

In need of a boost to their bowling attack, Bangalore turned to Steyn. The South African bowler had last played for the team in the IPL nine years ago, yet he showed what they had been missing with an early burst to put the home team on the back foot.

He dismissed Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill in the powerplay, while the Knight Riders were further hampered by Robin Uthappa eating up 20 deliveries to make just nine runs.

Too many early dot balls came back to haunt them at the death as well, with Russell and Rana running out of time.

Still, Russell has now amassed 377 runs in the tournament this year, despite facing just 171 balls. His tally of 39 sixes tops the charts, as he sits 13 clear of fellow West Indian Chris Gayle.

The Rajasthan Royals attack could be forgiven for feeling nervous as they prepare to come up against the in-form Andre Russell on Sunday.

In the opening weeks of the Indian Premier League, the Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder has proven unstoppable, not only scoring consistently but doing so at astonishing speed.

The powerful West Indies international has thumped 207 runs in four innings at a sensational strike-rate of 268.83.

Russell is also averaging a six every three and a half balls he faces, having smashed 22 maximums from 77 deliveries. 

We take a look at Russell's innings in the tournament so far, including a spectacular knock that helped KKR complete an unlikely chase against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday.

March 24: Sunrisers Hyderabad (H)

KKR needed 87 off 7.2 overs in their tournament opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad when Russell came in at number five. 

They still required 53 with three overs remaining, yet somehow got home with two balls to spare as Russell blasted 49 not out from 19 balls, with the aid of four sixes and as many fours.

 

March 27: Kings XI Punjab (H)

Having scored at a strike-rate of 257.89 against the Sunrisers, Russell was even more destructive three days later versus Kings XI Punjab.

On this occasion, he needed just 17 balls to make 48 (at a strike-rate of 282.35) as Kolkata piled on 218-4 and recorded a comfortable win.

 

March 30: Delhi Capitals (A)

Russell was held back against the Capitals as wickets tumbled early in the KKR innings. 

After coming in at 61-5 in the 10th over, he simply bludgeoned 62 from 28 balls to guide his team to 185-8.

However, the Knight Riders' winning start to the season came to an end as Delhi matched that total before prevailing in a one-over eliminator as Russell finally failed to fire.

 

April 5: Royal Challengers Bangalore (A)

Even by his own standards, Russell made batting look ridiculously easy against Bangalore.

Kolkata once again needed 53 from the final three overs, as had been the case against the Sunrisers. This time, they knocked the runs off with five balls to spare, with Russell almost solely responsible as he cracked 48 not out in just 13 deliveries.

His innings featured seven sixes and a strike-rate of 369.23. Surely even he cannot top that?

 

Andre Russell produced an astonishing late onslaught as Kolkata Knight Riders made sure Royal Challengers Bangalore are still searching for their first win in the 2019 Indian Premier League.

The West Indies all-rounder belted seven sixes as he made an unbeaten 48 from just 13 deliveries, helping the Knight Riders overhaul their opponents' total of 205-3 with five balls to spare.

Having arrived at the crease with the score at 139-4 in the 16th over, Russell managed a single from his first four legal deliveries as the Royal Challengers appeared on course to break their duck in this season's competition.

However, his whirlwind knock made the task of 53 runs from the final three overs a breeze, with the five-wicket triumph lifting Kolkata up to second in the table.

Bangalore, in contrast, remain stuck at the bottom. A fifth successive defeat did not appear on the cards at the halfway stage of the contest, with two of their star names shining with the bat.

Captain Virat Kohli top-scored with 84 from 49 deliveries and shared a second-wicket stand of 108 with AB de Villiers, who made 63. However, Russell eclipsed the pair with a dazzling display of hitting down the stretch.

 

SOUTHEE SUFFERS IN THRILLING CHASE

When Tim Southee started the penultimate over of the game, the Knight Riders required 30 from 12 deliveries. By the time the New Zealander had finished his spell, the scores were level.

After Shubman Gill started the over with a single, Russell smashed 28 runs off the next five balls. A quartet of sixes included two over midwicket, while the boundary in the blitz came with a cheeky steer over wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel when Southee dropped in a short ball.

Russell has now managed 207 runs in this year's IPL from 77 deliveries, putting him third on the top-scorers' list behind Sunrisers Hyderabad duo David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. His tally includes an astonishing 22 sixes.

Kolkata needed their in-form player to fire, too. Chris Lynn made 43 at the top of the order and there were also contributions from Robin Uthappa (33) and Nitish Rana (37), though the Royal Challengers appeared to be in control until the game came to a dramatic - and hasty - conclusion.

 

KOLHI SHINES DESPITE RCB'S GLOOMY OUTLOOK

Bangalore have found runs hard to come by in this campaign - they had been bowled out for scores of 70 and 113 prior to Friday - but found some form after being put in by Kolkata.

Kohli produced successive drives for four to get up and running at the start of his innings, albeit Bangalore's run-rate slowed after finishing the powerplay on 53 without loss.

Opener Patel fell with the score on 64, trapped lbw for 25, but the initial breakthrough only allowed De Villiers to combine with his skipper in a thrilling century partnership.

After the former South Africa international departed, Marcus Stoinis made an unbeaten 28 in a hurry to lift Bangalore beyond 200, a good score but not quite good enough in the final reckoning to secure an overdue triumph.

Andre Russell came up trumps over Chris Gayle in the battle of the West Indian superstars as Kolkata Knight Riders secured a 28-run win over King XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.

Russell scored 49 off 19 and claimed 2 for 21 to score a second straight win for the Knight Riders.  Chasing a massive 218, King XI would have needed a big innings from Gayle who was off a strong start with 20 from 13 balls. 

Russell, however, put a stop to any hopes of a massive score after having the batsman caught, attempting to pull a delivery that hurried into him.  Gayle has been in good form, after scoring 79 in the team’s opening match against Rajastan Royals.

Russell was pleased to get bragging rights over his teammate, a man known these days as the ‘Universe Boss’.

 "Gayle is like a brother to me, the bigger legend," the 30-year-old all-rounder said.

 "To get him out early was great. The plan was to bowl tight to him and restrict him. I am happy that I could get the job done."

Windies all-rounder Andre Russell will be replaced by fast bowler Obed McCoy ahead of the second and third matches of the Sandals Twenty20 International Series against England.

The 30-year-old T20 star Russell was added to the Windies squad for the final two matches of the One Day International series but did not feature and has since been dropped for T20 series. 

According to the Cricket West Indies (CWI) medical panel, the player had an adverse reaction after undergoing a medical procedure in Dubai.

A left-arm fast bowler who made his debut late last year and played two One-Day Internationals on the tour of India.  McCoy has so far taken four wickets.  The Windies currently trail in the T20 series following a four-wicket loss to England in the first match in St Lucia.  The Windies will face England in the second T20 international at Warner Park on Friday, before playing the final match at the same venue on Sunday.

Windies squad

Jason Holder (Captain)

Fabian Allen

Devendra Bishoo

Carlos Brathwaite

Darren Bravo

John Campbell

Sheldon Cottrell

Chris Gayle

Shimron Hetmyer

Shai Hope

Obed McCoy

Ashley Nurse

Nicholas Pooran

Oshane Thomas

West Indies have been dealt a blow ahead of the Cricket World Cup with Andre Russell not fit enough to feature in the Twenty20 international series against England. 

Andre Russell has replaced Kemar Roach in the West Indies squad for the final two ODIs against England.

The five-match series is squared at 1-1 after a pair of thrilling contests, and the two sides will face off in the third game in Grenada on Monday.

Roach did not play in either of the first two meetings and will play no involvement as the Windies seek to add to their Test-series triumph, with injury forcing him out of the squad.

All-rounder Russell is himself dealing with a knee problem that could impact his bowling.

However, the Windies believe his abilities with the bat make Russell worth the risk.

Courtney Browne, chairman of the selection panel, said: "Kemar Roach had to be withdrawn from the ODI series due to injury and will be replaced in the squad by the experienced Andre Russell for the last two matches.

"We believe Russell will add value to the squad.

"We are well aware that although Andre's bowling may be limited due to a knee problem, his tremendous batting ability to power the ball in the back end of the game will be an asset to the team."

Grenada will again be the venue for the fourth ODI on Wednesday, with Saint Lucia playing host to the series finale on March 2.


West Indies squad: Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (captain), Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas

Nicholas Pooran scored a quick-fire half-century but his Sylhet Sixers still lost by 32 runs to the Dhaka Dynamites in the Bangladesh Premier League on Saturday.

Five West Indians have been retained to their various teams for the Indian Premier League’s 2019 season. 

Nicholas Pooran and Andre Russell put the opposing bowlers to the sword on Friday as the Northern Warriors defeated the Punjabi Legends by 99 runs in the in the T10 League in Sharjah.

Windies T20 stars Chris Gayle and Andre Russell will look to take their explosiveness to the game’s shortest format after being drafted for the second edition of the T10 League tournament in Dubai.

Jamaica Tallawahs captain Andre Russell is not dwelling on his team’s elimination from the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League too much, already making plans to do better in a year’s time. 

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