Twitter Reactions: Sunil Narine's all-round brilliance ends Virat Kohli's captaincy stint in IPL without a trophy

Narine returned with the figures of 4/20 and then smashed 26 runs off 15 balls to win KKR the knockout game.

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Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine. (Photo Source: Twitter/Indian Premier League)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have continued their merry run in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season. They have knocked out the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the eliminator with a terrific performance in Sharjah. Their bowlers, led by Sunil Narine, first restricted the opposition and then their batters chased down the total rather comfortably. This loss also meant that Kohli ended his captaincy stint in the IPL without winning a trophy as he will be playing as a pure batsman from the next season.

Earlier, Virat Kohli decided to bat first in a knockout game after winning the toss. The skipper led from the front in terms of attacking from the word go. Devdutt Padikkal also did well before his wicket ended a promising 49-run stand in the sixth over. This is where KKR started to come back into the game with their spinners strangling the RCB batters.

Kohli also slowed down in the middle overs and Sunil Narine was class apart on the day. He spun the ball both ways with his variations and kept the batters on their toes during his game-changing spell. Narine dismissed all the match-winner of RCB – Kohli, KS Bharat, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers – to end with the magical figures of 4/21.

This meant RCB never got the finishing kick in the death overs and they could only post 138 runs for the loss of seven wickets in their 20 overs. Apart from Narine, Ferguson was the other bowler picking a couple of scalps in his four-over spell.

Narine shines with the bat as well

Defending 139 runs was never going to be easy for RCB and they needed early wickets which didn’t happen. The opening duo of Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill added 41 runs together and as expected, the run-scoring got extremely tough in the middle. RCB hit back with quick wickets of Gill and Rahul Tripathi and when Iyer was dismissed in the 11th over, at 79/3, the game was hanging right in balance.

KKR decided to send in Narine as the pinch-hitter and what followed was absolute crazy over which turned the game on its head. Daniel Christian was introduced into the attack and Narine went berserk which no one expected at all. Three sixes came in a single over and it completely changed the game. RCB, like Kohli admitted after the match, were completely deflated with that one over.

The required run-rate came under control for KKR and from here on, it was only about sensible batting for them. But it wasn’t to be as RCB kept fighting back with wickets. Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik, all got out as KKR slipped from 110/3 to 126/6 but with Shakib Al Hasan in the side, they still had two international level batters in the middle.

A calm head of Eoin Morgan and Shakib’s experience took KKR over the line in the final over rather comfortably though things got tight in the end. Alas! That 12th over proved to be the turning point which ended Virat Kohli’s captaincy stint.

Here’s the video:


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