IPL: Narine’s 19-Ball 50, Karthik & Rana’s Stand Help KKR Beat RCB
Dinesh Karthik-led KKR defeated RCB by four wickets in Kolkata on Sunday.
Kolkata Knight Riders under new skipper Dinesh Karthik overcame the jitters to notch up a convincing four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore and make a positive start to their campaign in the Indian Premier League in Kolkata on Sunday, 8 April.
Chasing a stiff 177 after KKR opted to bowl, opener Sunil Narine set up the chase with a 17-ball 50 (4x4, 5x6), the joint fourth-fastest fifty in the IPL.
A sensational display of pace bowling from Umesh Yadav brought RCB back on track as he produced a twin blow, dismissing Narine and Robin Uthappa.
But skipper Karthik (35 off 29 balls not out) maintained his composure and starred in a 55-run partnership with Nitish Rana to eventually seal the chase with seven balls to spare.
Rana, who dismissed AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli off consecutive deliveries, hit 25-ball 34 (2x4, 2x6) as he along with the skipper saw through the critical phase.
This was KKR’s third successive win over RCB who were shot out for the lowest IPL total of 49 here last season.
Narine had his intentions clear starting off with a flat-batted boundary and a slog sweep six against Chahal in the first two balls.
He lost his partner, Chris Lynn (five) in the same over but he remained unperturbed and went berserk in the fourth over of Chris Woakes who was hammered for 6-4-4-6.
Earlier Rana struck twice in a sensational one-over spell before Mandeep Singh smashed a whirlwind 18-ball 37 to take Royal Challengers Bangalore to a challenging 176-7.
Opener Brendon McCullum set it up for RCB with a sensational 27-ball 43 (6x4, 2x6) while AB de Villiers smashed a 23-ball 44, studded with five sixes and one boundary.
Kohli (31 off 33) played the second fiddle.
With de Villiers blazing all guns at one point their run graph was looking past 200 but part-time off-spinner Rana produced twin dismissals in two balls – De Villiers and Kohli – reducing RCB to 127/4 in 14.2 overs.
De Villiers top edged, while Rana yorked Kohli to break the quickfire 64 runs partnership off 36 balls as KKR pulled things back but Mandeep Singh produced a scintillating 18-ball 37 – with two sixes and a four against Vinay Kumar in the last over – to help RCB post 176 for 7.
Bowling with a remodelled action after his latest call of suspect action in the Pakistan Super League last month, Narine conceded just five runs and took one wicket from his first two overs.
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