IPL : A new-look Kolkata Knight Riders under new skipper Dinesh Karthik overcame the jitters to notch up a convincing four-wicket win over heavyweights Royal Challengers Bangalore and make a positive start to their campaign in the Indian Premier League.
Chasing a stiff 177 after KKR opted to bowl, opener Sunil Narine set up the chase with a 17-ball 50 (4×4, 5×6), the joint fourth-fastest fifty in the IPL.
A sensational display of pace bowling from Umesh Yadav brought RCB back on track as he produced a twin blow, dismissing Narine and Robin Uthappa in IPL 2018.
But skipper Karthik (35 off 29 balls not out) maintained his composure and starred in a 55-run partnership with Nitish Rana to eventually seal the chase with seven balls to spare.
Rana, who dismissed AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli off consecutive deliveries, hit 25-ball 34 (2×4, 2×6) as he along with the skipper saw through the critical phase.
This was KKR’s third successive win on RCB who were shot out for the lowest IPL total of 49 here last season.
A change of season and a rejigged side did not change the fortunes for Kohli and Co as Narine smashed RCB bowlers all across Eden Gardens in IPL.
Unleashing raw power up front, Narine had his intention clear starting off with a flat-batted boundary and a slog sweep six against Chahal in the first two balls.
He lost his partner, Chris Lynn (five) in the same over but he remained unperturbed and went berserk in the fourth over of Chris Woakes who was hammered for 6-4-4-6.
Earlier Rana struck twice in a sensational one-over spell before Mandeep Singh smashed a whirlwind 18-ball 37 to take Royal Challengers Bangalore to a challenging 176-7.
In IPL 2018, Opener Brendon McCullum set it up for RCB with a sensational 27-ball 43 (6×4, 2×6) while AB de Villiers made the Eden Gardens crowd cheer for them with his scintillating 23-ball 44, which was studded with five mouth-watering sixes and one boundary.
Kohli (31 off 33) played the second fiddle.
In IPL With de Villiers blazing all guns at one point their run graph was looking past 200 but part-time off-spinner Rana produced twin dismissals in two balls — De Villiers and Kohli — to reduce RCB for 127/4 in 14.2 overs.