West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has declared that he is fit and ready to give his all for the West Indies at the ICC World Cup in England that bowls off in just over a week.

He has also urged fans of the team to pay scant regard to the recent results from the tri-series in Ireland where the West Indies lost all three matches to Bangladesh.

Russell, who left Jamaica for England on Monday, played for his club St. Catherine CC who were up against St Elizabeth CA in the JCA JamT20 Bashment on Sunday at Sir P's Oval in Treadlight, Clarendon.

Asked to bat St. Catherine posted 167 for seven from their overs with Russell scoring 88 runs. Bowling, Russell picked up two for 12 but St. Elizabeth won by seven.

Speaking between innings on Sunday, Russell said those who are concerned that the West Indies lost all three matches against Bangladesh in Ireland, need not worry. A full-strength West Indies will be dangerous.

“This is England, so anything can happen. Once you bowl in good areas, stick to the plan we can hurt teams,” he said.

“We are a good unit at the moment. Apart from what happened against Bangladesh in Ireland, fans don’t need to pay that any mind because a few of us who will be in the eleven were not there so I am not even studying that series, to be honest.”

Russell, regarded as one of the best T20 players in the world, said he is in great shape and ready to battle for the West Indies as the Caribbean side goes hunting for their third hold of the ICC World Cup trophy. The West Indies last won the trophy in 1979.

“I am in good shape. My knees are feeling a lot better. I can move around a lot easier. I would be ungrateful if I said I am not where I want to be because a few months ago I could not even run properly so I am giving thanks and I appreciate the hard work the physios and others have been putting in behind the scenes and I am just looking forward to the World Cup,” Russell said.

 "I am hitting the ball well and the ball is also coming out of my hand well so I hope I can contribute with the ball as well. I am looking forward to contributing with the bat or the ball, or if I need to take a brilliant catch I will do that as well.”

The star player said the West Indies’ job is simple – just get the job done.

“We have a good team. The selectors have done well select a balanced team. Once the batters score runs we have the opportunity to defend it with the bowlers that we have,” he said.

“I am just focused on getting there, getting acclimatized, getting my body right and making sure that I leave everything on the field for the West Indies."

Andre Russell was in the runs again as Kolkata Knight Riders overcame Hardik Pandya's onslaught for Mumbai Indians to end a six-game losing streak in the Indian Premier League.

West Indies all-rounder Russell blasted 80 from just 40 deliveries to help the Knight Riders reach 232-2 - the highest score posted by any team in this season's competition so far.

Shubman Gill made 76 as he combined with opening partner Chris Lynn (54) to put on 96 for the first wicket, laying the ideal platform for Russell, who came out to bat at number three.

Kolkata smashed 75 runs from the final five overs of their innings and appeared set for a comfortable victory when they reduced their opponents to 58-4 in reply.

Pandya made them work for the win by plundering 91 in a hurry - hitting nine sixes in his 36-ball knock - before he was caught by Russell, who capped a fine display by also taking 2-25 with the ball.

Sunil Narine and Harry Gurney also claimed two wickets apiece as Mumbai finished up on a respectable 198-7, leaving the final margin of victory at 34 runs.

 

ANDRE'S GIANT HITTING

Russell had called for Kolkata's management team to be flexible when it came to his batting position and he was duly given the chance to impress with a promotion up the order.

After managing a single from his first four deliveries, the Jamaican blasted back-to-back sixes at the end of Rahul Chahar's spell as he quickly moved through the gears.

He also took a liking to Lasith Malinga in the closing stages, smashing the Sri Lankan paceman for 20 runs in the final over of the innings to post his best score in a highly productive campaign.

Russell has now reached the landmark of 50 IPL sixes in 2019, while his tally of 486 runs means he sits only behind David Warner (611) in the top-scorers list.


PANDYA PUMMELS KNIGHT RIDERS

Mumbai lost Quinton de Kock for a four-ball duck as they struggled in pursuit of such a huge target. Gurney trapped Rohit Sharma lbw for 12 and Russell won the battle with West Indies team-mate Evin Lewis, who edged behind to depart for 15.

Pandya arrived at the crease following the dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav (26) and, together with Kieron Pollard (20), added 63 for the fifth wicket.

The India international reached his half-century from just 17 balls – the quickest seen this season – but his fun came to an end when he hit a slower delivery from Gurney straight to Russell on the boundary.

With Pandya gone, Kolkata were able to enjoy the final two overs with a degree of comfort, easing to the 100th Twenty20 victory in the franchise's history.

Windies all-rounder Andre Russell has admitted he is champing at the bit to get back on the field for the regional team, after recently being included in a 15-man squad for next month’s ICC World Cup.  

The bullish all-rounder has been in fine form for Indian Premier League squad (IPL) Kolkata Knight Riders this season, where he has scored 406 runs from 11 games, at a brilliant strike rate of 209.27. 

Despite having not played in ODI cricket since last year against Bangladesh, the 30-year-old is confident of making an impact in England next month.  Russell was previously called to the ODI squad for the series against England but could not take the field after being hampered by a knee injury.

"I'm so hungry now to represent the West Indies.  The last time I joined the West Indies team was recently, when I had taken two injections to better my knee and it flared up again. I was so upset. I was watching the game against England and couldn't do anything about it,” Russell said.

"I wasn't surprised that I was called to the World Cup squad.  I've been doing well, I've been back and forth with the selectors and the coaches back home. I know once I'm doing my work here and performing, it will lead to national duties. I wasn't focused on the World Cup. I was just making sure that whatever happened here, I was doing my best,” he added.

 

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 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."

David Warner smashed 85 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in a timely reminder of his quality ahead of his international ban ending, yet that effort came in a losing cause as Andre Russell and Shubman Gill guided Kolkata Knight Riders to a six-wicket Indian Premier League win.  

Opening batsman Warner is free to be selected by Australia again from next week, when his one-year suspension following the ball-tampering scandal is up, and he hit three sixes and nine fours in a fine 53-run ball knock.  

His 118-run opening partnership with IPL debutant Jonny Bairstow (39) and Vijay Shankar's unbeaten 40 lifted the Sunrisers to 181-3, a total that Kolkata appeared unable to match when Russell and Gill came together with 27 balls remaining.

However, thanks largely to Russell's devastating hitting in his unbeaten 49 not out from just 19 balls, the Knight Riders reached their target with two balls to spare as Gill (18 not out) struck his second maximum off Shakib Al Hasan to seal it.

Though England international Bairstow has played far more cricket in recent weeks, it was Warner who displayed greater fluency for the Sunrisers, moving to his 50 by jumping off the ground to cut Russell for six.

Bairstow failed to connect with Piyush Chawla's long hop when bowled and Warner was eventually removed by a terrific diving catch at cover from Robin Uthappa off the bowling off Russell, who also accounted for Yusuf Pathan, though Shankar's contribution gave the Sunrisers' bowlers a good score to defend.

The cheap dismissal of Chris Lynn in the second over left the Knight Riders further up against it - and they were still well short of where the Sunrisers were at the same stage when Uthappa (35) was bowled by a brilliant Siddarth Kaul yorker in the 12th over.

Dinesh Karthik was dismissed in the next over and the Knight Riders looked like being left with too much to do when Nitish Rana (68) was out lbw to Rashid Khan following a delay due to floodlight failure, yet Russell and Gill had other ideas.


WARNER MAKES UP FOR LOST TIME

Under intense scrutiny given the timing of his IPL return, Warner showed no signs of either pressure or rust as he made the highest score of the match. 

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 international ban.

FLOODLIGHTS OUT...BUT RUSSELL PROVIDES THE SPARK

When Rana went lbw in the 16th over from the first ball after a delay of over 10 minutes caused by the lights in one of the towers going off, it appeared the Knight Riders were down and out too. 

They did not need to worry, though, as Russell lit up Eden Gardens with a display of brutal hitting, scoring 17 of the 18 runs that came from Kaul's final over and all 21 off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's last set of six, which allowed Gill to finish the job.

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. 

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