Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) captain Glenn Maxwell on Thursday said there was no surprise in seeing Sunil Narine opening the batting for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), in the 11th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Narine’s all-round show helped KKR hand KXIP their first defeat in IPL 10, beating them comprehensively in chase of 172. Chasing a daunting target, hosts decided to send Narine up in the order to open with Gautam Gambhir, after Chris Lynn missed out on this game due to a sore shoulder. Full Cricket Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, Match 11 at Eden Gardens
KKR made light work of the chase as they sauntered to a 8-wicket win in their first home game of IPL 2017 season. Gambhir remained unbeaten on 72 off 49 balls, studded with 11 fours. However, the tone was earlier set by Narine, who smacked 37 runs batting up in the opening slot, taking the attack to the opposition. Narine smacked 3 sixes and 4 boundaries to score his 37 runs off a mere 18 balls. KXIP captain Maxwell said he was not surprised to see Narine opening the innings, adding that he had seen the Caribbean cricketer coming in to bat first-up during the Big Bash League (BBL) 2016-17.
“I thought we had a chance with 170, the ball was swinging and seaming. We had an extra quick. I was not surprised by Narine opening the batting, he has done it in the Big Bash,” Maxwell was quoted as saying by PTI.
“They got away from us and that opening partnership basically took the wind out of us. One poor over where we lost three wickets, then we lost our way. We will have to regroup for Delhi,” he added.