Sunil Narine starred with the ball and bat as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Eliminator of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Sharjah on Monday.
The Eoin Morgan-led unit will now square off against Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2 and the winner of that match will take on Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash.
After limiting RCB to 138/7, KKR made a brisk start as Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer cashed in on the scoring opportunities and took KKR past the 40-run mark. However, Harshal Patel’s introduction in the final over of the powerplay gave RCB their first breakthrough as he got Gill out for 29.
Two overs later, Yuzvendra Chahal trapped Rahul Tripathi before the wickets. Harshal then picked up his 32nd wicket of the season as he had Iyer caught behind the wickets.
KKR then promoted Narine up the order and he hammered 3 sixes on the first legal deliveries he faced and helped KKR zoom past hundred.
RCB though continued to fight hard as Chahal had Rana in the 15th over before Mohammed Siraj’s double-wicket 18th over – where he dismissed Narine and Dinesh Karthik – took the things right down to the wire.
Captain Eoin Morgan and Shakib Al Hasan though held their nerve and took KKR home with two balls to spare.
Earlier, RCB, who elected to bat, and KKR both retained the same playing XIs which took the field in their respective last games.
RCB were quick off the blocks, courtesy captain Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal. While Kohli creamed three fours in the first two overs, Padikkal hit two fours in the fourth before RCB moved to 49/0 at the end of five overs.
KKR struck on the first ball of the sixth over as Lockie Ferguson dismissed Padikkal after the left-hander dragged one back onto the stumps.
While Kohli survived a close run-out, thanks to his brilliant dive and KS Bharat got a reprieve in the eighth over, KKR struck in the 10th over as Sunil Narine picked a wicket in his first over, dismissing KS Bharat.
Then, Narine landed two massive blows in his next two overs. First, he disturbed the timber to get Kohli out for 39 and then bamboozled AB de Villiers to pick his third wicket, pushing RCB on the backfoot.
Narine continued to make merry and KKR continued to dominate the proceedings as Glenn Maxwell was dismissed in the 17th over.
KKR continued to keep RCB in check and limited them to 138/7.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 139/6 (Shubman Gill 29, Sunil Narine 26; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/16) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 138/7 (Virat Kohli 39, Devdutt Padikkal 21; Sunil Narine 4/21) by 4 wickets.