IPL 2018: Narine blitz seals it for Kolkata against Bangalore

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April 8, 2018

Brief Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders 177 for 6 (Narine 50, Karthik 35*, Woakes 3-36) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 176 for 7 (De Villiers 44, McCullum 43, Rana 2-11) by four wickets

April 8, 2018

Brief Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders 177 for 6 (Narine 50, Karthik 35*, Woakes 3-36) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 176 for 7 (De Villiers 44, McCullum 43, Rana 2-11) by four wickets

April 8, 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2018, Kolkata Sunil Narine pillaged a 17-ball half-century as Knight Rides razed Royal Challengers early in the chase – BCCI

KOLKATA – There were times when batsmen around the world were wondering how to pick Sunil Narine the bowler. Over the last year or so, bowlers around the world have started to wonder how to stop Narine the batsman.

Narine’s new avatar as a pinch-hitting opener in Twenty20 cricket was on show once again on Sunday (April 8) at Eden Gardens, helping Kolkata Knight Riders get off to a winning start against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their IPL 2018 game. Narine smacked 50 off 19 balls, setting up a fairly comfortable four-wicket win for Kolkata, who chased down Bangalore’s 176 for 7 in 18.5 overs. Dinesh Karthik, on IPL captaincy debut, also played a crucial unbeaten 35 to take his side home.

Virat Kohli tried to be brave when he threw the new ball to Yuzvendra Chahal, but Narine wasted no time and set the tone with a four and a six off the first two balls. He lost Chris Lynn’s company in the next over but didn’t stop toying with the bowling, punishing anything in his zone.

Narine took 20 runs off an over from Chris Woakes and followed it up with a 19-run over off Washington Sundar. The best aspect of his knock was that none of the big strokes were ugly slogs – he just swung through the line and hit a majority of his runs in the ‘V’, making life difficult for the bowlers. It nearly cost his wicket too when he was caught at long-on, but Mandeep Singh couldn’t stop himself from stepping on the ropes.

Narine blitzed his way to a 17-ball 50, taking Kolkata to 65 in five overs. But before he could grab the game completely away from Bangalore, Umesh Yadav found his stumps with the help of an inside-edge to pull things back somewhat.

Umesh then lifted Bangalore’s hopes further when he dismissed Robin Uthappa – although it was more of the batsman slogging mindlessly to give a catch to point – leaving Kolkata 83 for 3.

 

Kolkata did not have much batting depth but Nitish Rana and Karthik batted with commonsense to keep them going. The run-rate was not an issue, thanks to the Narine blitz, and all they needed to do was take the game deep. They did that to perfection in a 55-run stand for the fourth wicket before Washington ended it by trapping Rana leg before. That was the only bright spot in an otherwise forgettable day for Washington, who conceded 48 from his four overs and later on dropped a sitter in the deep too.

Woakes got Rinku Singh and Andre Russell in his next two overs, but the experienced Karthik took Kolkata home.

Bangalore got off to a mixed start once they were put in. Brendon McCullum took 14 runs off Vinay Kumar’s first over but Quinton de Kock threw it away at the other end when he reverse-scooped Piyush Chawla to short third-man in the next.

That set the tone for a barrage of spin as Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav bowled five of the six Power Play overs. It helped keep Kohli quiet, but McCullum still kept the board ticking with the odd boundary. McCullum seemed to be in the zone and raced into the 40s before a slow turner from Narine went past his bat to the stumps in the ninth over.

Kohli’s struggle to find his timing continued but AB de Villiers had no such worries. He took charge immediately, launching Kuldeep for two sixes. A six each off Narine and Mitchell Johnson followed, sending ominous signs for Kolkata. The hosts thought they had him when he was given out caught behind, only for it to be rightly overturned on review.

It required a massive stroke of bravery – or luck – to stop de Villiers. Karthik took a big gamble by giving the ball to part-timer Rana, and the move seemed to backfire when de Villiers smashed him for a six first ball. However, he ended up miscuing to long-on next ball to fall for a 23-ball 44. Rana, the offspinner, extended the dream by getting Kohli with a yorker next ball.

From 127 for 4 in the 15th over, Bangalore suffered a dip in scoring rate after the twin strike. Sarfaraz Khan failed to get going, but Mandeep played a handy cameo of 37 (18) to lift Bangalore past 175.


Courtesy/Source: Wisden India

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