Narine clobbers Kings XI to keep KKR in playoff race
Narine clobbers Kings XI to keep KKR in playoff race
Sunil Narine slammed 75 off 36 balls
12 May, 2018, 19:51
The longest boundary at the Holkar stadium is only 71 metres. His 29-ball 66 was his fourth fifty of the tournament but unfortunately that was never going to be enough to track down the mountain of runs.
The left-hander justified his opening berth, adding insult to injury after Mujeeb Ur Rahman damaged his thumb trying to take a catch off his bowling when Narine drilled a half-volley back at him. Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik did the bulk of the heavy lifting with half-centuries at 200-plus strike rates, but there were important contributions from Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell as well, and end-overs cameos from Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill.
Kolkata still managed 59 runs in the Power Play, and Narine took charge after that.
But Tye had other plans as he sent both Narine and Uthappa back in the hunt in one over. However, he waned thereafter and that coincided with Kolkata's many losses in the tournament. He then plundered Barinder Sran for 17 runs in an over as KXIP bowlers failed to use the short ball well against Narine - a ploy when employed well has worked against the left-hander.
Karthik hit five boundaries and three sixes while Russell had three maximums apart from a couple of fours. It's possible Ashwin has found it hard to sustain what is a completely new skill for him through an entire season or that he has spotted something amiss with his technique and wants to work on it further.
Mujeeb returned to the field in the 16 over, but even he could not stop the run-fest and conceded 21 in his over.
Tye took Russell's wicket to break the quickfire partnership as Karthik also fell to Sran but the damage was already done.
R Ashwin's men have been too reliant on their openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul and the vulnerable, out-of-form middle order has been a big cause for concern.
WICKETS! It's Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal who have been dismissed by Andre Russel in two consecutive balls. He showcased his class yet again and raced past his 50 off 22 balls, but there was only that much he could do all alone.
Now his team needed sixes, lots of them, and Rahul immediately set about hitting them, starting in the first over with two effortless lofts over mid-off and extra-cover off Narine. Aaron Finch and Ashwin minimised the margin of defeat, which could come crucial in the race for the final four. Punjab had 101 on board by the tenth over, but had also lost four wickets in the process.
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