The decision taken by Kolkata Knight Riders to send all-rounder Sunil Narine as the opener proved to be a gamechanger as his explosive knock guided the side to a big win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their IPL 2024 match on Friday. Narine looked in sublime form as he smashed the RCB pacers all around the ground and ended up scoring 47 off just 22 deliveries. Narine had previously credited Gautam Gambhir for promoting him to the top of the batting order back in the 2017 season and over the years, he has won multiple matches with his knocks. Gambhir, who is currently KKR’s mentor, was visibly excited when Narine smashed Yash Dayal for a six and his reaction has gone viral on social media,

A ruthless fifty by Venkatesh Iyer worked as the catalyst for Kolkata Knight Riders’ smooth seven-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in their IPL match on Friday.

Venkatesh’s 50 of 30 balls (3×4, 4×6) and stunning blitzes by openers Sunil Narine (47, 22b, 2×4, 5×6) and Phil Salt (30, 20b, 2×4, 2×6) propelled the Knight Riders past the 183-run target that the RCB set for them, which was built around Virat Kohli‘s skillful unbeaten 83.

In a welcome sight after the match, Kohli and KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir, who have not been the best of friends, were seen hugging each other.

The KKR batters never got bogged down either by a slow pitch or RCB bowlers as they hunted down the target in just 16.5 overs.

Their approach on the night was best exemplified by Venkatesh, who is trying hard to regain his relevance in white ball formats, who added 75 runs for the third wicket with skipper Shreyas Iyer (39 not out).

The left-hander found his range from the word go, as pacer Alzarri Joseph suffered the brunt of his aggressive intentions.

He biffed the West Indian quick for 20 runs in an over that contained two sixes over cover and mid-wicket and a steered four to third man, besides a leg-bye boundary.

Shreyas, who was dropped on five by Yash Dayal off highly impressive local pacer Vysakh Vijayakumar (1/23), just had the supporting role on this night.

But for that crisp win, the KKR should profusely thank Narine and Salt, who subjugated RCB bowlers in the Power Play with astonishing power-hitting.

“Not expecting much. Season has just started and we have just two wins so far. We need to embrace this and enjoy each others’ successes,” Shreyas said at the post-match presentation.

(With PTI inputs)

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