Russell recorded 48 runs off 25 deliveries and took four wickets in an over, but Kolkata faltered in its chase in the death overs.
Hardik Pandya top-scored with 67 runs for the Titans, as they scored 156-9 (20 overs). In reply, Kolkata finished with 148-8 (20 overs).
Earlier, Gujarat bucked the trend in this IPL season and became the first team to bat after winning the toss. It didn’t get off to a great start though, losing opener Shubman Gill (7) cheaply.
Pandya, returning from a groin injury, promoted himself to number three and the move paid off. His third half-century of the season came off 36 balls. Overall, he hit four fours and two sixes.
Pandya and Wriddhiman Saha (25) put on 75 runs for the second wicket. Then, the skipper put on another 50 runs off 35 balls with David Miller (27).
Kolkata fought back with Miller’s dismissal in the 17th over.
An over later, Tim Southee (1-36) dismissed both Pandya and Rashid Khan (0) as Gujarat was placed at 140-5.
Russell then picked up four wickets for five runs in the final over as the Titans lost their last seven wickets for just 23 runs.
In reply, Kolkata was rocked at the very start. Mohammed Shami took 2-20 to remove both openers Sam Billings (4) and Sunil Narine (5).
Gujarat’s pace attack was on top with Yash Dayal (2-42) dismissing Shreyas Iyer (12) and Lockie Ferguson (1-33) getting rid of Nitish Rana (2).
Kolkata was reduced to 34-4 in 6.1 overs.
Rinku Singh stabilized the chase with 35 off 28 balls and added 45 runs with Venkatesh Iyer (17).
But at 98-6 in 13.2 overs, it came down to Russell’s hitting prowess. The mighty all-rounder hit six sixes as well as a four during his 25-ball stay.
But Russell holed out off Alzarri Joseph (1-31) in the final over, thus ending Kolkata’s hopes.