Sunil Narine © AFP
Sunil Narine © AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) Sunil Narine won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award of IPL 2018. Narine, who opened batting for KKR, scored 357 runs this season at a strike rate of 190. He was also the joint-highest wicket-taker for KKR, claiming 17 wickets for an economy rate of 7.65. Narine accumulated 379.5 points. Shane Watson of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), centurion of IPL 2018 final, came second best at 318 points, followed by Rishabh Pant of Delhi Daredevils (DD) at 314.5 points.

Over a recorded video, Narine lamented about not being able to be present at Mumbai for the tournament final as KKR were knocked out in Qualifier 2 on Friday. Narine hoped he could continue with his role with bat and ball: “Unfortunately I couldn’t be there as our team were knocked out. Really wish we were in the finals. It has been a successful journey with the bat and ball. I would like to continue it and I really wish I could be there to collect the award.”

IPL 2018: Shane Watson powers CSK to third title; becomes 2nd to slam hundred in tournament final
IPL 2018: Shane Watson powers CSK to third title; becomes 2nd to slam hundred in tournament final

This is Narine’s second MVP award, after his debut season in 2012. He wasn’t known for his batting prowess back then. He had picked 24 wickets from 15 matches at 13.50 and an economy rate of 5.47, and his performances powered KKR to their maiden IPL triumph.

In other news, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won their third IPL title. They beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 8 wickets. Watson became only the second player, after Wriddhiman Saha, to score a hundred in an IPL final.

All the other major awards went Down Under. Australia’s Watson bagged the Man of the Match in the final, SRH skipper Kane Williamson won the Orange Cap, while Australia’s Andrew Tye, who played for Kings XI Punjab, won the Purple Cap. New Zealand’s Trent Boult won the best catch of the season.