Narine, Karthik help KKR post mammoth 245/6 against Punjab


After starting the 11th season on a high note, KXIP floundered after losing some matches back to back.

At Indore, Sunil Narine's blistering 75 off 36 balls and captain Dinesh Karthik's robust 50 off 23 lifted Kolkata to a massive 245-6 after Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin won the toss and opted to chase on a small ground.

Narine joined forces with Robin Uthappa and hammered 75 runs for the second wicket in just over six overs as they lay into Axar Patel, Barinder Sran and R Ashwin quite mercilessly. He switched to legspin nearly every time a right-hander came to the crease and bowled 37 wristspin balls across Kings XI's first six games, taking 2 wickets and conceding at 7.78 an over.

Chris Gayle (21) couldn't play an impactful innings being dismissed by Russell (3/41).

KKR too stitched a few wins together early in the tournament but have struggled to get going in the second half making things hard for themselves.

When Andrew Tye dismissed both set batsmen in the 12 over, it seemed KKR would take a few overs before commencing the final assault.

The clean-hitting duo both cleared the ropes three times and debutant Javon Searles hit his one and only ball for six over long on to finish off a devastating KKR batting performance in style. "I just made sure the 24 balls I bowl, they should be as per my plan", Krishna added.

The innings got off to a roaring start as Sunile Narine tonked the KXIP bowlers all around the park. Even more so, Kolkata play Mumbai on Wednesday, with the victor of that match to go to fourth position, the loser resigned to fifth should Kings XI prove victorious a night earlier. This season, he has got more chance to bat by virtue of being an opener and Rahul too has pounced on the opportunity not letting anything go.

Narine struck another critical blow when he bowled Lokesh Rahul for 66 to completely derail the chase.

While Kings XI Agarwal is back for Nath, Finch back for Stoinis and Sran for Tiwary.

For the KXIP bowlers, that was the start of the carnage.

For Kolkata Knight Riders consistency has been the biggest issue throughout the tournament so far.

Kolkata was hammered by Mumbai in their last encounter as the Rohit Sharma-led side registered a thumping 102-run victory over them. Openers Lynn, Narine and Russell's form has been a huge concern for them.

The match is scheduled to begin at 4:00 PM IST. In middle order Robin Uthappa, skipper Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana will have to chip in with runs. But as we have seen it before, this is a team that's making heads turn by playing fearless cricket, they will need to produce more of it if they are to make it to the playoffs.