KOLKATA BEAT KINGS XI PUN­JAB BY 31 RUNS

Kolkata posted a mam­moth 245-6, their high­est ever to­tal in IPL.

The Sunday Guardian - - The Big Story - COR­RE­SPON­DENT IN­DORE

KKR out­bat­ted Kings XI Pun­jab in a high-scor­ing af­fair, reg­is­ter­ing a 31-run vic­tory here on Sat­ur­day to stay in the hunt for the IPL play-offs.

De­ter­mined to end their twom­atch los­ing streak, Kolkata posted this edi­tion’s high­est to­tal of 245/6, thanks to open­ing bats­man Su­nil Narine’s 75 off 36 and skip­per Di­nesh Karthik’s 50 not out off 23.

West In­dian all-rounder An­dre Rus­sell, who scored a brisk 31 off 14, took two wick­ets in two balls, while Narine re­moved the dan­ger­ous Lokesh Rahul (66 off 29) . Skip­per Ravichan­dran Ash­win (45 off 22) and Aaron Finch (34 off 20) tried their best but Kolkata’s huge to­tal was way out of reach, with Pun­jab man­ag­ing 214/8.

KKR were given a good start by opener Chris Lynn 27 and Narine with the vis­i­tors rac­ing to 59/1 af­ter six overs.

Lynn looked ten­ta­tive from the out­set, al­most chop­ping the ball onto his stumps in only the sec­ond and third ball of the match off Mo­hit Sharma. The dash­ing Aus­tralian was re­moved by the bril­liant Tye to bring Robin Uthappa to the crease.

Along with Narine, the pair helped KKR to 106/1 af­ter 10 overs. But medium pacer An­drew Tye had other plans as he sent both Narine and Uthappa back in the hunt in one over. Rus­sell was pro­moted to No.4 to keep the on­slaught go­ing and to­gether with Karthik, the duo took the bowlers to the clean­ers in a 76run fourth wicket part­ner­ship. In the fi­nal over, 17 runs came off Sran (1/48) as Shub­man Gill re­mained un­beaten on 16 off 8 balls along­with Javon Sear­les (6).

For the hosts, pur­ple cap holder Aus­tralian pacer Tye (4/41) was by far the pick of the bowlers.

Dur­ing the chase, Pun­jab looked on course rid­ing Rahul’s 29-ball 66 but Narine (1/44) got the bet­ter of him. Rus­sell (3/41) dis­missed com­pa­triot Chris Gayle and Mayank Agar­wal (0) in the fourth and fifth ball of the sixth over when they were cruis­ing at 57/0.

Karun Nair failed to aid Pun­jab, scor­ing three runs be­fore be­ing dis­missed by Rus­sell. Few overs later, Rahul, who was go­ing ham­mer and tong, was bowled by Narine as he missed the ball, which then hit his legs be­fore rolling on to the stump, as Pun­jab lost theiur fourth wicket for 93 runs in nine overs.

Later, Aus­tralian opener Aaron Finch (34; 20; 3x6) tried to stage a come­back but Javon Sear­les (1/52) took his wicket. IANS

IANS

Su­nil Narine in ac­tion against Kings XI Pun­jab at Holkar sta­dium in In­dore on Sat­ur­day.

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