• Mumbai Indians beat Punjab Kings by six wickets to move up to fifth in the table
Sunil Narine shone with bat and ball as Kolkata Knight Riders boosted their play-off hopes with a three-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League yesterday.
West Indian Narine returned figures of 2-18 with his spin to limit Delhi to 127 for nine and then played 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 Twenty20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates to reach fourth in the eight-team table.
Delhi are second behind Chennai Super Kings.
“They (batsmen) timed their assault really well, say with the new ball against the spinners,” Morgan said after the win.
“It was a well-fought game and we think we came out on the right side.”
Kolkata were in trouble when Morgan fell for nought to Ravichandran Ashwin, who was ecstatic after getting the England limited-overs captain following a heating exchange with him in the Delhi innings.
“On a hot day, things can boil over. Thankfully today they didn’t. Things were played in the right spirit,” Morgan said of the verbal sparring.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was out for 12, but coming in at number seven, Narine, a left-handed batsman, smashed South African 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 a 10-ball blitz. Nitish Rana took the team home with a winning boundary in his unbeaten 36.
Opener Shubman Gill hit a useful 30. Delhi quick bowler Avesh Khan took three wickets.
Earlier Australia’s Steve Smith and skipper Rishabh Pant both made 39 and Shikhar Dhawan hit 24 in the Delhi 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, holders Mumbai Indians beat Punjab Kings by six wickets to move up to fifth in the table.
Punjab slip to sixth, ahead of 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 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 with 10,000 runs and 300 wickets.
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