Sunil Nairne set the tempo for hosts as he scored 42 runs in the first three overs for Kolkata Knight Riders against Gujarat Lions at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Nairne, who has been promoted to open the batting for the two times IPL winners post Chris Lynn’s injury, has managed to play the role he has been asked to do by his team.
After being asked to bat first by Suresh Raina, Nairne opened the batting with skipper Gautam Gambhir. The West Indies cricketer hit three fours in Praveen Kumar’s first over. He continued to bat with aggression as he smashed back to back four boundaries of seamer James Faulkner. (Results | Fixtures | Standings)
The left-handed batsman looked in ease as continued to attack against Gujarat’s struggling bowling lineup. With 29 runs on the board in just two overs, Gujarat captain Suresh Raina brought Thimpi into the attack as Praveen had gone fore 12 runs. However the result was quite similar as Nairne hit two back-to-back fours before sending the ball over the bowlers head for the first six of the match.
Narine’s 42 is the highest score in IPL scored all in boundaries as he surpassed Mumbai Indians’ Sanath Jayasuriya (36) against Deccan Chargers in the inaugural edition of the IPL. 37 against Kings XI Punjab in Kolkata was Nairne’s previous best score.
Quickfire batting by Nairne helped KKR score 65 for the loss of one wicket in first six overs, which is now the highest Powerplay score by a team batting first this season.