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IND | Oct 12, 2021

Sunil Narine shines as KKR eliminate RCB in IPL playoffs

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Sunil Narine was in prime form for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) after a comprehensive win Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday, October 11. (Photo: Facebook @KolkataKnightRiders)

West Indies mystery spinner Sunil Narine described Monday’s (October 11) performance for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as one of his greatest in a T20 match. The Trinidadian took 4-21 and then made 26 from 15 balls to help bring KKR to within one win of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) finals.

If they win against the Delhi Capitals on Wednesday it would be KKR’s first appearance in an IPL final since 2014.

“Definitely [one of the greatest T20 performances]. When you perform, and the team comes out winning. I am prepared to be out first ball. Some days it comes off, some days it doesn’t,” said Narine, who claimed the wicket of the dangerous Virat Kohli, who was leading RCB for the last time on Monday.

“I enjoy all wickets, but getting Kohli and tying them up was my goal. It was a total team effort.”

Narine was essential in ensuring Bangalore could only set a modest target of 138 runs as he took a match-high four wickets, and then his arrival at the crease provided KKR with direction at just the right time as they ultimately reached 139-6.

Bangalore had initially looked in good shape as Virat Kohli (39) and Devdutt Padikkal (21) helped them to 49-0 after five overs, before the latter went to Lockie Ferguson at the start of the sixth.

They did not lose another wicket until Narine’s first over in the 10th as he tempted Srikar Bharat to pick out Venkatesh Iyer. The same man then accounted for captain Kohli, who misjudged a delivery when going for a slog sweep. AB de Villiers was dismissed scoring  11 runs and Glenn Maxwell for 15.

With the bat, Narine hit three sixes from the first three legal deliveries he faced on his way to 26 that set KKR on course after they had found themselves in a rut at 79-3 after 11 overs.

KKR captain Eoin Morgan praised his match-winner in his post-match comments.

“Narine makes it look very easy. He bowled outstandingly well. Throughout the innings, we continued to take wickets. Narine is a cool customer and is very level-headed,” he said.

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