Sunil Narine leads Kolkata to IPL Eliminator win
Off-spinner Narine took four for 21 to restrict RCB to 138 for seven off 20 overs. He then smashed 26 off 15 balls as KKR reached 139 for six with two balls to spare despite a late wobble.
KKR face Delhi Capitals in today’s second qualifier for a spot in the final. The winner of that tie will play Chennai Super Kings on Friday for the 2021 IPL title.
KKR have now won six out of eight games since the delayed tournament resumed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while RCB were eliminated in Virat Kohli’s final match as captain of the franchise.
Narine’s all-round display was one of the finest in IPL history – there are not many bigger wickets to take in T20 cricket than Kohli, A. B. de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, while he gave KKR much-needed impetus with the bat.
RCB made a strong start before KKR’s spinners took hold with Narine bamboozling the batters with his changes of pace, immaculate length and sharp turn.
After removing Srikar Bharat, Narine then bowled both Kohli and De Villiers with beautiful deliveries, each one foxing the star batter and finding a gap between bad and pat.
Once Narine also had Maxwell miscuing a big shot to Lockie Ferguson, RCB’s hopes of posting a massive total had completely subsided.
The game was in the balance when Narine arrived at 79 for three off 11 overs but three sixes off the first three legal deliveries he faced from Dan Christian put KKR on top.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 138/7 in 20 overs (Kohli 39, Narine 4/21)
Kolkata Knight Riders: 139/6 in 19.4 overs (Gill 29, Narine 26, Chahal 2/16, Siraj 2/19). (BBC)