BENGALURU: Finally, entertainment was back at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. But it was not Royal Challengers Bangalore who provided it, as Kolkata Knight Riders taught them a lesson on Sunday with a six-wicket win here.
The hosts notched 158 for six in 20 overs, and Gautam Gambhir’s boys knocked it off in 15.1 overs.
What a contrast it was. Barring Mandeep Singh (52) and Travis Head (75), the other Bangalore batsmen were all at sea. Then, Kolkata’s batsmen gave their bowlers a hiding, the kind the Chinnaswamy crowd had witnessed from their own batsmen last year.
Chris Lynn (50) and Sunil Narine (54) opened the batting for Kolkata, and spared no one. Samuel Badree was dispatched for 25 runs in the fourth over, while S Aravind went for 26 runs in the fifth. In the process, Narine garnered the fastest IPL half-century, off 15 deliveries.
The duo made it look easy. Such was their dominance that they brought up the highest Powerplay score ever in the league, notching 105 runs in just 6 overs.
And despite the team slowing down after the two got out, the damage was done. T20 cricket is not about having a team full of stars, but rather about having a couple of guys seal the deal. RCB seem to have forgotten that this year.
The visitors’ Piyush Chawla said, “I’ve never seen this. They took the game away from Bangalore in the first six overs itself. They backed themselves and played cricketing shots.”
Yes, the pitch here may have played a part in the home team’s miserable run in 2017. But experienced players have not adapted to conditions? Certainly, Bangalore have lots of thinking to do.
Earlier, Virat Kohli & Co could not have asked for a worst start, with opener Chris Gayle getting out to the very first ball of the match after being put in to bat. Kohli was dropped on two by Chawla off Umesh Yadav, but in the next ball, was trapped leg before. This was in the third over.
It took a more sensible approach from Mandeep and Head to keep the score ticking. The two did not try to be heroes, but stuck to getting ones and twos. And they did punish the bad deliveries. Perhaps, the other batsmen should have stuck to this approach too. With the hosts at 100 for three, there was a rain delay of 38 minutes. Mandeep then came up with his half-century and so did Head. Their fourth-wicket stand was worth 71.
Brief scores: Bangalore 158/6 in 20 ovs (Mandeep 52, Head 75 n.o, Umesh 3/36, Narine 2/29) lost to Kolkata 159/4 in 15.1 ovs (Lynn 50, Sunil Narine 54, De Grandhomme 31).
Here are the records broken by Gambhir's men:
105: Kolkata Knight Riders’ 105/0 is the highest Powerplay score in the history of IPL. Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn eclipsed the 100/2 by Chennai Super Kings against Kings XI Punjab in the 2014 edition.
15: Sunil Narine reached 50 off just 15 balls, the joint-fastest in the IPL. He equalled Yusuf Pathan, who achieved the feat against Hyderabad in 2014.