The Play of the Day definitely belongs to Sunil Narine for setting the tone of the game. Interestingly, he makes it not for his bowling but for his scintillating batting. The only regret his fans would probably have is the fact that he didn’t smile despite his moments of brilliance with the bat, that too, against a West Indian team-mate.
The match context
It was almost a repeat of the match a day before between Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians, a low-scoring thriller that saw Delhi implode despite chasing a small target. Similarly, at the Eden Gardens, Virat Kohli called right and chose to field first. He would have believed everything went his way as he quelled a brilliant start from KKR to limit them to just 131 after they were 65 for 1 in only the 6th over.
Nevertheless, RCB made a mess of the chase, falling like nine-pins in the face of some serious pace bowling on a lively wicket at Kolkata. RCB lost the match by 82 runs, all out for 49, the lowest total ever in IPL history. That is a serious debacle for a side that has Gayle, Kohli, AB de Villiers and Jadhav.
The power-packed play of the day
It was a great start to the match from KKR’s makeshift opener, Sunil Narine, who threw the kitchen sink at his teammate Samuel Badree without so much as a warning. Narine came out with an aggressive intent trying to back away and slap the first ball he faced, only to miss it.
He continued to go all guns blazing and didn’t miss the second time around, stepping down the track and beautifully driving the ball through the covers. That cover drive, after skipping down the track, would have made a top order batsman proud.
The very next ball Narine demonstrated how the class of the previous delivery wasn’t a fluke. He got a floater on middle that he lofted over the bowler’s head after charging down the track, for another four. He was saved by the fact that the ball didn’t turn and it crashed into the boundary after one bounce.
The carnage continued with a third successive four that Narine smashed, a clean loft over cover. The last of the strokes was the best, a six, despite Badree finding some turn.
Narine shimmied down the track and hammered the ball with the spin, over long-on, for a stunning six. Narine scored 18 off the six balls that he faced from Badree, a mystery spinner himself, quietly getting one-up over his West Indian team-mate in the first over of the game.
To add to it, it completed 50 runs for Narine, between this match and the previous, all from boundaries. Eventually, Narine got out after scoring 34 off just 17 balls, pulling off his role as a pinch-hitter in style.
Such was the impact of Narine’s start to the innings that KKR raced away to a 50 in 3.5 overs, the joint-fastest team-fifty this IPL. Eventually, KKR collapsed despite the start and only crawled to 131 after losing wickets in a heap. That proved to be enough though without Narine even coming on to bowl!