April 25, 2018

Narine stars as Knight Riders get opening win against Royal Challengers

09 April 2018, 12:43 | Donald Newman

Pic Courtesy Movie Still

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They still have core players in Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn from last editions. The West Indian targeted Royal Challenger Bangalore's Washinton Sundar in particular in the fifth over, where he hammered him for 18 runs in a single over.

Kolkata Knight Riders Squad: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Singh Yadav, Mitchell Starc, Dinesh Karthik (captain), Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Vijay Wankhade, and Ishank Jaggi. With Virat Kohli's aggressive statements and press conferences prior to the tournament, RCB will definitely start as the favourites against a slightly weak and injury prone Kolkata-based team.

While rain is forecast for Kolkata on Saturday and Monday, Sunday is expected to be clear and if that prediction is correct, I would still prefer to chase while the side taking first knock should be looking to go beyond last year's average total and target something approaching 175.

Writing in his column for Times of India, De Villiers said the ongoing season of the cash-rich league was his eighth with RCB.

As the first success in the match, KKR got Quinton de Cock. Last season, RCB endured a nightmare at Eden Gardens as they got dismissed for 49 - the lowest by any team in the history of the IPL - in reply to KKR's 131. Narine's assault began against Chris Woakes in the fourth over. He ended the over with a bang, smacking a short ball for a six over mid-wicket as Woakes leaked 20 runs. The first of which was hit over the covers and then stepped out the very next ball to hit it straight back over the bowler's head which is easily cleared the long on fence. The wicket, however, brought AB de Villiers to the middle who started to tonk the ball from the word go. Washington Sundar, 9. Navdeep Saini/Pawan Negi, 10.

Virat Kohli said he is "120 percent" committed to leading the franchise to their maiden IPL win. Narine stopped McCullum at 43 by bowling him. Umesh Yadav eased the tension at the RCB dug-out with two quick wickets.

Bangalore have the luxury of Kohli and AB de Villiers in the form of their lives. The Challengers next play Kings XI Punjab at home on Friday.

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