IPL: KKR ride Uthappa, Narine show to post 187/5 against Gujarat
In front of a packed Eden Gardens, Narine dealt only in boundaries during his 17-ball 42 (9×4, 1×6) setting a new record of all runs scored in fours and sixes.
Uthappa (72; 48b 8×4 2×6) made the most of his reprieve — he was dropped on 6 by Aaron Finch — to hold the innings together and bring up his 19th IPL fifty and second successive one at the Eden.
While Manish Pandey (24; 21b 2×4 0x6) was castled by Basil Thampi and Suryakumar Yadav was run out (1), Yusuf Pathan remained unbeaten at 11.
Narine eclipsed Sri Lanka batting great Sanath Jayasuriya’s tally of 36 runs scored in boundaries when the dashing southpaw was playing for Mumbai Indians against Deccan Chargers.
Alongwith skipper Gautam Gambhir (33; 28b 2×4 1×6), he engineered a 45-run partnership, finding the fence every three balls taking Praveen Kumar, James Faulkner and Thampi to the cleaners.
Faulkner — playing his first match for Gujarat this season — suffered the most, going for three back-to-back fours in his last three deliveries as the Aussie allrounder, who was dropped from the Champions Trophy squad, went for 17 runs in his first over.
Courtesy the Narine blitzkrieg, the hosts were 65/1 after the powerplay.
Visiting skipper Suresh Raina finally put an end to the Narine show by bowling a back of length ball to which the batsman pulled late allowing Faulkner to pedal backwards and complete the catch from midwicket.
Uthappa, in his new found No. 3 role, seamlessly blended with Gambhir to stitch together a 69-run stand for the second wicket as the men in purple tore their weak counterpart’s bowling attack to shreds.
Jadeja missed a run out opportunity off Dwayne Smith’s bowling, throwing at the wrong end when Uthappa was halfway down the crease at the non-striker’s end. Gambhir benefitted from the gaffe, bagging four overthrows.
The in-form home team skipper fell to Faulkner soon after with KKR well set for a big score at 114/2, top edging a good length delivery to skipper Raina at midwicket.
Uthappa was finally taken by Praveen Kumar but the damage was already done.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders: 187/5 in 20 overs (Robin Uthappa 72, Sunil Narine 42) vs Gujarat Lions