Bengaluru: The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium did see a shower of sixes and fours, but unfortunately not from the home team, as the Kolkata Knight Riders inflicted another embarrassing loss on the Royal Challengers Bangalore, defeating them by six wickets here on Sunday.
The Knights guided by a ruthless Sunil Narine (54 off 17) and a flamboyant Chris Lynn (50 off 22) chased down the target of 159 with 29 balls to spare.
Narine turned RCB’s nightmare on the day as he scored the fastest fifty in IPL, reaching his half century off just 15 balls. The West Indies all-rounder hit the ball around the park, sending the crowd into a frenzy, with six fours and four massive sixes and only six runs coming off singles. The 28-year-old, finally caught by Kedar Jadhav off an Aniket Choudhury delivery, had already done the damage as the opening pair brought up KKR’s 100 in just 22 minutes.
Lynn returning from injury showed no sign of trouble as he played a swift knock studded with five fours and four sixes, before Pawan Negi sent him back. The explosive partnership of Lynn and Narine was the highest powerplay score (105) in the history of IPL.
With the groundwork set, a few wickets hardly made a difference as the Knights walked away with the win, to solidifiy their hold on a playoffs berth occupying the second rung on the table while the Challengers remained last.
Earlier, after being put into bat, the Challengers got off on the wrong foot from the very onset as Chris Gayle went back to the pavilion off the very first delivery. Gayle’s dismal season continued as Umesh Yadav got the Jamaican off the first ball, as Gambhir caught him at short cover.
It looked like RCB were heading for another collapse as skipper Virat Kohli (5) and AB de Villiers (10) both failed to get going. Kohli who was dropped on two by Piyush Chawla at mid-off, failed to capitalise on his lifeline as Yadav picked up next big scalp, trapping Kohli to bring another miserable innings to an end.
With the big three gone, RCB’s innings headed for a collapse, but the middle order turned it around. While Mandeep Singh laid the groundwork with a steady 52 off 43, Travis Head literally turned the home teams sinking innings on its head to help post the defendable total. With opener Mandeep playing a patient knock, Head brought in the boundaries hitting Yadav in the last over for 21 runs to help the Challengers post a decent total in their last home match, which was delayed by thirty-eight minutes due to rain.
Head’s unbeaten 75 came off 47 balls, studded with three fours and five sixes. With this the Challengers wrapped up their home leg of the season with just a solitary win at home....