Dinesh Karthik led from the front © AFP
Dinesh Karthik led from the front © AFP

In Match 3 of Indian T20 League, Kolkata marched ahead of Bangalore. Chasing 177, Sunil Narine set it up for the hosts with a blazing 50 off 19 balls. In process, Narine became the first player in the tournament history to register two fifties in 17 or fewer deliveries. The momentum was carried forward calmly by skipper Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana. Andre Russell, crowd favourite, provided the late flourish.

Kolkata commenced the chase with Chris Lynn and Narine. While the focus was on Lynnsanity (Lynn), Narine again stole the show with his all-out approach. Lynn was removed by Chris Woakes for 5. However, Narine attacked from the other end. He went after Woakes, and slammed him for 20 in the fourth over. Nothing paid off as the Englishman tried short-of-length, slower or quicker balls.

Washington Sundar, who leaked less than 7 during powerplays in Nidahas Trophy, followed suit. He conceded 19 to Narine, as the left-hander made amends of the first six overs. Umesh Yadav’s low full-toss finally ended Narine’s berserk knock. The pacer bowled with threatening pace and challenged batsmen on short-pitched deliveries. In turn, he curbed the run-flow.

Karthik understood the need of hour post’s Narine’s heroics. Nitish Rana and Karthik combined to add 55 runs, off 42 balls, with the duo getting the odd boundaries and rotating strike. Virat Kohli’s problems surfaced when Yuzvendra Chahal got no breakthrough, and Sundar leaked runs.

Kolkata finished formalities courtesy Karthik’s unbeaten 35*.

Earlier, Bangalore’s famed trio — Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers and Kohli — added runs on board. Apart from them, Mandeep Singh’s 37 propelled the score over 170. At 116 for 2 in 13 overs, Bangalore would have fancied more than 190. Russell, Narine, Mitchell Johnson and Piyush Chawla’s experience and smart death bowling changed the script. In addition, Rana sparked with twin strikes of ABD and Kohli.

Note: In most wins versus Bangalore, Kolkata joins Chennai and Punjab (12). Mumbai lead with 13 victories.

Brief Scores

Bangalore 176 for 7 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 43, Virat Kohli 31, AB de Villiers 44, Mandeep Singh 37; Nitish Rana 2 for 11, Vinay Kumar 2 for 30, Sunil Narine 1 for 30, Mitchell Johnson 1 for 30, Piyush Chawla 1 for 31) lost to Kolkata 177 for 6 in 18.5 overs (Sunil Narine 50, Nitish Rana 34, Dinesh Karthik 35*; Chris Woakes 3 for 36, Umesh Yadav 2 for 27) by 4 wickets.

Man of the Match: Sunil Narine