Sunil Narine’s innings of 19-ball 50 and Nitish Rana’s all-round performance helped Kolkata Knight Riders to restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore to 176 runs and then to chase it with ease in 18.5 overs.
Narine started the innings by smashing Yuzvendra Chahal for a four and a six off the first two deliveries of the over and then clobbered Chris Woakes for 20 runs and Washington Sundar for 19 runs in the fourth and fifth over respectively.
Umesh Yadav brought curtains on Narine’s 19-ball assault which included five sixes and four fours. But by then the damage was already been done as KKR had raced to 65 in the seventh over.
RCB capitalized on Narine’s wicket and sent back Robin Uthappa quickly to push KKR on the backfoot. But Nitish Rana added fifty runs for the fourth wicket with skipper Dinesh Karthik and brought KKR closer to the win. Rana scored 34 runs off 25 balls before getting lbw out to Washington Sundar in the 15th over.
Dinesh Karthik (35 off 29 balls) kept one end guarded and delivered the win for KKR in the 19th over. Woakes finished with three wickets while Umesh Yadav gave away only 27 runs in his four overs and also picked up two wickets.
Earlier in the day, after losing the toss, RCB got off to a flying start courtesy of Brenden McCullum’s powerful hitting. McCullum smashed 43 off 27 balls and took RCB to 63 in the ninth over.
Skipper Virat Kohli had a rare odd day with the bat as his strike rate was below 100 for the most part of his innings. Kohli’s struggles continued for 33 balls in which he scored only 31 runs. Kohli’s failure prevented RCB from earning momentum from McCullum and ABD’s power-hitting.
While Kohli struggled to score quickly, AB de Villiers made batting look exceptionally easy from the other end. de Villiers scored 44 runs off 23 balls and was hitting boundaries at will. He looked set for a big score before an incredible over by Nitesh Rana ended his party.
As the partnership of Kohli-ABD threatened to take the game away from KKR, Karthik brought Rana in the bowling attack and the surprise move worked well as Rana sent back both the batsmen on successive deliveries.
Mandeep Singh blasted 37 off 18 balls to take RCB to 176 in 20 overs.
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