IPL 2019: Andre Russell blitz takes KKR home

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s David Warner during their practice session at Eden Garden in Kolkata

KKR tried to check the run flow in the last four overs but Shankar played some delightful strokes to put Sunrisers in a commanding position. His innings helped KKR win the match.

The side also parted ways with Shikhar Dhawan, but signed the likes of Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem and Abhishek Sharma.

The 32-year-old has now scored 37 IPL half-centuries, more than anyone else in the competition's history, despite missing last year's tournament following the fallout from his worldwide ban. Redemption is on KKR's mind.

KKR vs SRH: Where will this IPL match be played? Since then, they have made it to the playoffs thrice in four years showing great consistency, but the team will want to finish off equally well this time round.

Last year, KKR's weak link was their pace attack.

However, KKR coach Jacques Kallis is confident that the team can rise to the challenge and even branded his side as a better-balanced team than 12 months ago. The bowling line-up that we have, it was not that we scored less or batted badly.

Playing for the first time since being banned for one-year due to his role in a ball-tampering row in South Africa last year, Warner opened his account by flicking Prasidh Krishna towards the deep square leg boundary. It will be hard to find anyone more motivated than Warner on the pitch, as he seeks to fix a damaged reputation.

According to team mentor VVS Laxman, Warner is looking as fit as ever and is raring to go.

Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, were not expected to do well previous year as they were earlier facing from injuries and also they didn't have many big names in their side.

The only question, which is becoming increasingly hard to answer, is where he will fit in the batting order when Australia start their campaign in Bristol on June 1. But it is Kane Williamson who will be the biggest threat this year as well, after scoring 735 runs in 17 matches last year.

Warner said prior to his stint in the Bangladesh Premier League in January that his IPL form would be vital for his chances of being picked for the World Cup.

Russell, a veteran of T20s, took Siddharth Kaul for 19 runs in the 18th over, followed by 21 off Sunrisers stand-in skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar, to bring the equation down to 13 off the last over.

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