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Sunil Narine's all-round performance takes KKR to comprehensive win over RCB - IPL 2018

Newly crowned Captain Dinesh Karthik led Kolkata Knight Riders (177-6) to a convincing 4-wicket victory over Royal Challenges Bangalore (176-7) on their home ground.

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On a slightly lively pitch at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, KKR Captain Dinesh Karthik won the toss and invited Virat Kohli & Co. to bat first. Recent inclusions in the RCB squad, Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock came out to start proceedings for Bangalore. While de Kock (4) was soon dismissed by Piyush Chawla (4-31-1) in the second over, McCullum went on to play an explosive 43-run knock at a strike rate of just under 160.

Next to come in was Virat Kohli (31) who had a 45-run partnership with the New Zealander but wasn’t able to change gears this time around and kept rotating the strike throughout his stay at the crease.

After McCullum was bowled by Sunil Narine (4-30-1), Kohli stitched a partnership with AB de Villiers. In the 64-run stand between the two, de Villiers (44, SR: 191.30) was clearly the aggressor as he toyed with the KKR bowling for the limited time that he was at the crease. When Mr 360 and Kohli were batting together, even a total of 200 looked well within RCB’s reach.

Then, out of nowhere skipper Dinesh Karthik brought in part-time spinner Nitish Rana who dismissed both ABD and Kohli on back to back balls. This really stemmed RCB’s flow of runs so much so that it looked as if RCB would only manage 160 or so. But it was Mandeep Singh (37, SR: 205.55) who cashed in on the last over of Vinay Kumar (2-30-2) to take Bangalore to 176.

Chasing an almost par score on a juicy wicket of Eden Gardens, KKR went bonkers right at the beginning with Sunil Narine (50, SR: 263.15) getting stuck into the RCB bowlers. However, his opening partner Chris Lynn (5) who carries a great reputation could not make it big in his first match of this IPL season and fell to Chris Woakes (4-36-3).

On a wicket that had decent pace and bounce on offer, pacer Umesh Yadav (4-27-2) set his straps from the outset and settled into a really good spell of classic fast bowling to dismiss Narine and KKR vice-captain Robin Uthappa (13) in quick succession.

Uthappa was followed by Nitish Rana who played a composed 34-run knock to take KKR closer to the target. Rana was scalped by young spinner Wasington Sundar (4-48-1) who had a forgettable match. Sundar not only went for plenty but also dropped a crucial catch in the deep.

Dinesh karthik (35*) then played a Captain’s knock and let Rinku Singh (6), Andre Russell (15) and Vinay Kumar (6*) play around him and contribute to the team’s total. It was Karthik’s calm-headed knock that took KKR to victory with 7 balls remaining.

Sunil Narine bagged the Man of the Match award for his destructive half century and economical bowling.

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