The Twenty20 extravaganza was back at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. A new-look Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) took on a strong Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) line-up. And one man who enjoyed his stay in the field was none other than Windies Sunil Narine.
With the ball, Narine conceded 30 runs and scalped the wicket of Brendon McCullum.
The wicket came at a demanding stage, as Royal Challengers were riding strong. McCullum hit a couple of sixes and six boundaries on his way to an entertaining 27-ball 43.
AB de Villiers joined the party and stroked a 23-ball 43. He hit five sixes and a boundary. Whereas, skipper Virat Kohli made a handy 31 off 33 balls. A target of 177 looked like a match-winning one as the ball was certain to do a bit.
Quick-fire fifty sets the tempo:
But a scintillating half-century by Narine changed the game in no time. Five sixes and four boundaries frustrated the visitors while the Knights kept moving ahead.
Narine’s bowling action was recently reported but the Knight Riders management stuck to their superstar.
KKR’s coach Simon Katich sounded confident ahead of the IPL season.
“Obviously, there were some issues recently in the PSL where he was playing for Lahore,” Katich said.
“But he’s since gone back to Trinidad and spent a lot of time with Carl Crowe, working on his action. Carl’s his coach, last few years he’s been working with him since he first got reported,” Katich added.
KKR backed Narine’s opening role:
On his opening stint, Katich echoed the thoughts of many. Narine was impressive at the top last season, scoring quick runs at the top.
“We felt that Sunny opening was going to give us an advantage with the balance of our team and also free him up to play a role at the top of the order, which he did a very, very good job of,” Katich said of Narine opening in last year’s IPL.
It clearly paid off as he came to their rescue played a match-winning knock.
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