Before the last IPL season, Sunil Narine has been a mystery for batsmen. No one was able to figure out how to play the off-spinner. But in this IPL season and even internationally, batsmen have played him with ease. Narine, with all his variations, did not have the same impact on the batsman as he had earlier. Narine, however, has a new way of impacting the game – as a batsman.
Opening the batting for Kolkata Knight Riders with Chris Lynn, who made a return from injury, Narine smoked the fastest half-century in Indian Premier League history, off just 15 balls and his record stand with Lynn, of 105 runs in 36 balls, helped their team chase down a 159-run total in 15.1 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The win over Bangalore helped Kolkata move up to the second spot in the points table with 16 points and better net run-rate than Rising Pune Supergiant. Bangalore remained at the last spot after their 10th loss in 13 games this season.
The onslaught by Lynn and Narine began in the first over of the chase as Lynn took 14 runs, two fours and a six, off the Aniket Chaudhary over. In the second, Narine destroyed Samuel Badree by hitting three sixes over long-off, all identical.
Both Lynn and Narine broke the record of most runs by a team in powerplay as they put on 105 in the first six overs. They hit 19 boundaries in the powerplay, two more compared to Bangalore, who hit 17 in the entire innings.
Lynn, coming back from an injury, scored 50 off 22 balls. Kolkata lost some quick wickets as they approached the finish line but were home with six wickets and 29 balls in hand. Bangalore bowling was as wayward as it could get. Wide and full-tosses aplenty, the bowlers never tried to stop the runs or take wickets as KKR cruised home.
Like their bowlers, Bangalore batsmen were as pathetic as well. The trio of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers fell inside the powerplay. Gayle was dismissed for a golden duck, off the first ball of the match, while Kohli was leg-before after he missed a leg-cutter from Umesh Yadav. Narine bowled De Villiers.
Bangalore were reeling at 35 for the loss of three wickets when Travis Head joined Mandeep Singh in the middle and the two added 71 off 63 balls to help their team recover. Both complete fifties before Mandeep was dismissed. Head remained unbeaten for 75 as he took his team’s total to 158 for the loss of six wickets in 20 overs.