In the VIVO IPL 2017, Sunil Narine has been providing the fireworks with the bat at the top of the order for Kolkata Knight Riders but on Sunday he took this newly added element to his game to another level with a thundering fifty off just 15 balls. The all-rounder hit the joint-fastest IPL half-century and the fastest this season as he shared a sensational opening stand with Chris Lynn, who hammered 50 from 22 balls. The onslaught floored Royal Challengers Bangalore who slipped to their 10th defeat of the season.
Having managed to put 158/6 on the board after Chris Gayle (0), Virat Kohli (5) and AB de Villiers (10) were back in the dugout inside six overs, RCB’s hopes of defending the total were dashed when KKR openers blasted 105 runs from six overs. The struggling RCB were helped by a 71-run stand between Mandeep Singh and Travis Head after the top order had failed again.
Gayle was dismissed off the first ball of the match, his second consecutive duck. Umesh, who got the big Jamaican early struck again in his second over and this time he dealt another major blow when he trapped RCB captain Virat Kohli in front. Even before the fans could come to terms with the loss of two early wickets, de Villiers was on his way back in just the fifth over when he was bowled by Narine in the latter’s first over.
The spinner was hit for a four off the previous ball but made a fine comeback by removing the South African. Mandeep stood strong from one end and tried his best to stay afloat. The match had to be halted for a while in the 15th over but thanks to the excellent drainage facility at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, action resumed quickly. Head made sure the team had a total to defend when he smashed the final over bowled by Umesh for 21 runs.
With the kind of start they got, the KKR chase was never off track. Even though Narine and Lynn were back by the eight over, they had done enough. The KKR threw another surprise by sending de Grandhomme at No. 3 and he scored 31 from 28 balls. KKR lost two more wickets but achieved the target with 29 balls to spare.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 158/6 in 20 overs (Travis Head 75*; Mandeep Singh 52, Umesh Yadav 3/36, Sunil Narine 2/29) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 159/4 in 15.1 overs (Sunil Narine 54, Chris Lynn 50, Colin de Grandhomme 31, Pawan Negi 2/21) by 6 wickets.
Man Of the Match: Sunil Narine