KOLKATA, India, CMC – Mercurial West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine bowled brilliantly as Kolkata Knight Riders superbly defended a mediocre total to beat Pune Warriors by seven runs in the Indian Premier League here yesterday.
The 23-year-old Trinidadian, who has played just eight One-Day Internationals, strangled Pune’s batsmen to concede just 13 runs from his four overs as the visitors were restricted to 143 for eight in their run chase at Eden Gardens.
Narine’s only wicket came in his first over – a wicket maiden – when he trapped Australian Steve Smith lbw in the ninth over for 14 as Pune crashed to 55 for five.
From there on, Narine bamboozled the Pune batsmen with his variations, drying up runs and increasing KKR’s stranglehold on the game.
Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly top-scored with 36 and Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Matthews hit 35, in a 73-run sixth wicket partnership that hauled Pune back into contention.
But with Pune requiring a gettable 22 runs from the last 12 balls of the innings, Narine send down an excellent penultimate over which cost just four runs, and virtually ended the visitors’ chances.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir scored 56 from 36 balls and shared a 113-run first wicket stand with New Zealander Brendon McCullum (42), to lay the foundation for KKR’s 150 for five.