RCB vs KKR, IPL 2024: Narine, Salt opening blitzkrieg power Kolkata Knight Riders to seven-wicket win

Just six overs into the chase, the writing was on the wall. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had established utter dominance, while Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) had nowhere to turn.

While RCB gently tiptoed to 182 for six, KKR sprinted to the finish line in their IPL encounter here on Friday. KKR’s all-out attacking intent was made clear by openers Phil Salt (30, 20b, 2×4, 2×6) and Sunil Narine (47, 22b, 2×4, 5×6), who smashed fearsome blows to rack up 85 runs in the first six overs,

With the required run rate now down to seven an over, Venkatesh Iyer (50, 30b, 3×4, 4×6) and Shreyas Iyer (39 no, 24b, 2×4, 2×6) faced no pressure. The middle-order duo settled in, picked on the loose deliveries, and helped KKR reach home with 3.1 overs to spare.

Save for a wicket for local lad V. Vyshak, the 34,000-odd spectators had little to cheer about in the KKR essay.

Earlier, Virat Kohli (83 no, 59b, 4×4, 4×6) carried his bat for RCB, even if he was not in full flow. Kohli and his partners struggled when the pace was taken off by the KKR bowlers.

HIGHLIGHTS | ROYAL CHALLENGERS BENGALURU VS KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS

Cameron Green (33, 21b, 4×4, 2×6) and Glenn Maxwell (28, 19b, 3×4, 1×6) kept Kohli company in uninspiring partnerships.

For the third successive outing, Dinesh Karthik came to the rescue in the death overs. Karthik walked in to bat in the 18th over, and provided late momentum with an 8-ball 20.

A shoddy fielding display let RCB off the hook. The worrying trend was set when Ramandeep Singh fluffed a run-out chance early in the essay to hand Green a life. It got worse for Ramandeep, when he put down a skier at deep mid-wicket when Glenn Maxwell was on 11.

KKR was further embarrassed when Narine fluffed a sitter a short while later to give Maxwell another reprieve. In the 17th over, the virus spread to Varun Chakravarthy, who failed to hold on to a low catch offered by Anuj Rawat.

The KKR opening blitzkrieg, however, made up for these failings.

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