Sunil Narine shone with bat and ball as the Kolkata Knight Riders boosted their IPL playoff hopes with a three-wicket win over the Delhi Capitals on Tuesday.
Narine returned figures of 2-18 with his spin to limit Delhi to 127-9 and then hit a crucial cameo innings of 21 as Kolkata reached their target in 18.2 overs on a slow Sharjah pitch.
Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata have won three of their four matches in the resumed T20 tournament in the UAE to be placed fourth in the eight-team table. Delhi are second behind the Chennai Super Kings.
Kolkata were in trouble when Morgan fell for nought and Dinesh Karthik, for 12, but Narine stayed calm to get the two-time champions close to victory.
Narine, a left-handed batsman, smashed Proteas quick Kagiso Rabada for two sixes and a four to help get his team 21 runs off the 16th over.
He finally fell to Anrich Nortje after his 10-ball blitz but Nitish Rana took the team home with a winning boundary in his unbeaten 36.
Opener Shubman Gill hit a useful 30, while Delhi quick Avesh Khan took three wickets.
Earlier, Australia’s Steve Smith and skipper Rishabh Pant both made 39 and Shikhar Dhawan hit 24 in Delhi’s innings but the rest of the batting faltered against the Kolkata bowlers.
Kolkata fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, Narine and Venkatesh Iyer claimed two wickets each.
In the second match of the day in Abu Dhabi, the Mumbai Indians beat the Punjab Kings by six wickets to move up to fifth in the table.
Punjab slip to sixth, ahead of the Rajasthan Royals who meet Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.
Hardik Pandya, who hit 40 off 30 balls, and Kieron Pollard, who made 15, put on an unbeaten stand of 45 for the fifth wicket as Mumbai achieved their target of 126 in 19 overs.
Top-scorer Saurabh Tiwary (45) and Quinton de Kock (27) also played key knocks in another low-scoring contest.
Mumbai pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah and Pollard took two wickets each to help restrict Punjab to 135-9 despite Aiden Markram’s 42.
Pollard took his wicket total to 300 in T20 cricket after sending back Punjab skipper KL Rahul. The West Indies all-rounder became the first player in T20 history to score 10,000 runs and take 300 wickets.
© Agence France-Presse