Chris Lynn (50 off 32) and Sunil Narine (47 off 25) starred in Kolkata Knight Riders’ thumping eight-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Sunday.
Chasing a modest target of 140, Lynn and Narine took the Rajasthan bowlers to the cleaners as the duo forged a 91-run opening stand to help Kolkata register a comfortable victory with as many as 37 balls to spare.
Lynn and Narine started the proceedings with a bang as Kolkata raced to 22/0 in the first two overs.
Nothing seemed to be going right for Rajasthan, as Rahul Tripathi dropped Narine at point off Dhawal Kulkarni in the fourth over. In the next delivery, Lynn got an inside edge that hit the stumps but didn’t dislodge the bails before racing to the fine leg boundary.
There was no looking back for the Kolkata openers who sent the Rajasthan fielders on a leather hunt all over the park.
Shreyas Gopal finally gave the hosts some respite after dismissing Narine in the ninth over. However, it was too late as the Kolkata scorecard read 91/1. Narine’s knock included six boundaries and three sixes.
Lynn and Robin Uthappa (26 not out off 16) then took their side to 114/1 before Gopal struck again to dismiss the former in the 11th over.
However, Uthappa ensured that there were no further hiccups as he, along with Shubman Gill (6 not out), helped Kolkata cross the line with ease.
Lynn’s innings was laced with six boundaries and three hits into the stands.
Earlier, Steve Smith’s laborious 58-ball unbeaten 72 propelled Rajasthan to a modest total.
The Kolkata bowlers were not amongst the wickets, but they bowled in a disciplined manner at an impressive economy rate to restrict their opponents to an average total.
Apart from Smith, Jos Buttler chipped in with 37 as the two stitched a crucial second wicket stand of 72 runs.
Put into bat, Rajasthan lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane (5) in the second over as Prasidh Krishna trapped him in front of the wicket. Butler and Smith then joined hands to deny Kolkata any further inroads, but their slow innings hurt Rajasthan’s chances of putting up a big total.
With both the batsmen looking well-settled, Harry Gurney finally delivered the breakthrough by dismissing Buttler with the Rajasthan scoreboard reading 77/1 in 11.5 overs.
Smith was then joined by Tripathi (6) and the duo took their side past the 100-run mark but the latter didn’t last long as Gurney struck again in the 16th over.
Smith anchored the Rajasthan innings from one end but didn’t get much support. After Tripathi’s departure, Smith kept the scoreboard ticking and added 19 runs in the next 13 balls as Rajasthan managed to reach 139 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
For Kolkata, Gurney picked up two wickets while Krishna settled for one.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 139/3 (Steve Smith 72 not out, Jos Buttler 37; Harry Gurney 2/25) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders: 140/2 in 13.5 overs (Chris Lynn 50, Sunil Narine 47; Shreyas Gopal 2/35) by 8 wickets.