Indore: A 23-ball 50 from skipper Dinesh Karthik coupled with Sunil Narine's 36-ball 75 helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pile up 245/6 in 20 overs against Kings XI Punjab in a crunch Indian Premier League (IPL) game at the Holkar Stadium here on Saturday.
Narine set the stage for a big score, his whirlwind innings studded with nine fours and four sixes. Narine was involved in a 75-run stand for the second wicket with Robin Uthappa (24; 17b; 2x4, 1x6) while Karthik, who hit five boundaries and three sixes, joined hands with Andre Russell (31; 14b; 2x4, 3x6) for a 76-run fourth wicket partnership off just 31 balls.
KKR never let their foot off the gas and scored 139 runs in the last 10 overs. In the final over, 17 runs came off Barinder Sran (1/48) as Shubman Gill remained unbeaten on 16 off 8 balls along with Javon Searles (6), making his IPL debut. For the hosts, purple cap holder Australian pacer Andrew Tye (4/41) was by far the pick of the bowlers. KKR were given a good start by opener Chris Lynn and Narine with the visitors racing to 59/1 after six overs. Lynn 27 (17b 2x4 2x6) looked tentative from the outset, almost chopping the ball onto his stumps in only the second and third ball of the match off Mohit Sharma.
On both occasions, the ball went to the fine leg boundary. The dashing Australian was removed by the brilliant Tye to bring Uthappa to the crease. Along with Narine, the pair helped KKR to 106/1 after 10 overs. Narine was severe to Barinder Sran (x/xx) in the 11th over, hitting him for two sixes and a four. The West Indian mystery spinner turned batsman brought up his second fifty of the season in 26 balls and looked set for a hundred.
But Tye had other plans as he sent both Narine and Uthappa back in the hunt in one over. While Narine nicked behind a brilliantly executed short delivery, Uthappa mistimed slower one to Mohit Sharma who snaffled a good catch at backward point. Andre Russell was promoted to No.4 to keep the onslaught going and together with Karthik, the duo took the bowlers to the cleaners.
While 19 runs came off Axar Patel's 15th over, Mujeeb Ur Rahman was taken for 21 runs in the next. Tye took Russell's wicket to break the quickfire partnership as Karthik also fell to Sran but the damage was already done. In between, Nitish Rana also chipped (11) before Mohit Sharma (1/40) took his wicket. Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 245/6 in 20 overs (Sunil Narine 75, Dinesh Karthik 50; Andrew Tye 4/41) vs Kings XI Punjab. (IANS)