KOLKATA: Andre Russell smashed an unbeaten 80 to help Kolkata Knight Riders end their six-match losing streak after creating their season's best of 232-2 in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
Mumbai Indians batsman Hardik Pandya hit 91off 34 balls and tried to pull off the chase but the three-time champions finished on 198-7 at Kolkata's Eden Gardens with the home side winning by 34 runs.
The evening belonged to the West Indian all-rounder who hit six fours and eight sixes during his 40-ball blitz after being promoted to number three.
He also returned figures of 2-25 with his pace bowling and held on to two catches including that off Pandya.
Russell, who turns 31 Monday, attributed his big-hitting abilities to "hand and eye coordination, balance and good bat speed".
"I generate a lot of power from my shoulders and then the core and a good balance," Russell said after receiving the man of the match award.
"As an all-rounder, you have to make sure your body is fit and strong. Definitely one of my best T20 days. We knew we needed to get 200+...But well done to the bowlers."
His efforts lifted Kolkata from seventh to fifth place in the eight-team table as the Twenty20 tournament moves towards the business end.
Two places are still up for grabs in the playoffs with Delhi Capitals and defending champions Chennai Super Kings have already booked their berths in the final four.