Narine powers Kolkata to top, Chennai beat Punjab

Player of the Match Sunil Narine’s scored 81 runs off just 39 balls to take Kolkata to a thumping victory over Lucknow.

Narine, with this knock, has now scored 461 runs in 11 games this season. (Photo: Getty Images)

Vivek Mishra

Sunil Narine’s blistering knock of 81 runs off just 39 balls powered Kolkata Knight Riders to a resounding 98-run win over Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday, taking them to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) standings.

Opting to bat first in Lucknow’s final home encounter, Kolkata stamped their authority early, amassing a formidable total of 235-6.

The fireworks began with Narine’s explosive partnership alongside Phil Salt, crafting a solid foundation with a brisk 61-run opening stand.

Despite the efforts of Lucknow’s Naveen-ul-Haq, who clinched three crucial wickets, Kolkata’s batting lineup exhibited resilience, with skipper Shreyas Iyer and Ramandeep Singh contributing vital runs to bolster the total.

In reply, Lucknow faltered under Kolkata’s relentless bowling attack, crumbling to 137 all out in just 16.1 overs.

Marcus Stoinis’ valiant effort of 36 runs was the lone bright spot in an otherwise lackluster batting display.

The duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Harshit Rana wreaked havoc, sharing six wickets between them to dismantle Lucknow’s batting lineup.

Ramandeep’s spectacular catch, dismissing Arshin Kulkarni, further emphasized Kolkata’s dominance on the field.

Earlier in the day, in a gripping encounter, Ravindra Jadeja showcased his prowess with both bat and ball, guiding Chennai Super Kings to a commanding 28-run victory over Punjab Kings. Jadeja’s blistering knock of 43 runs propelled Chennai to a competitive total of 167-9, laying the foundation for their triumph.

Defending their total, Chennai’s bowling unit, led by Jadeja’s exceptional spell of 3-20, proved too formidable for Punjab Kings, restricting them to 139-9. Jadeja’s all-round brilliance not only secured victory for Chennai but also showcased his invaluable contribution to the team’s success.

Chennai faced a setback with the departure of Sri Lankan pace bowler Matheesha Pathirana due to a hamstring injury. Despite Pathirana’s absence, medium-pacer Tushar Deshpande rose to the occasion, making significant breakthroughs in the crucial encounter against Punjab Kings.

His early scalps of Jonny Bairstow and Rilee Rossouw dealt a severe blow to Punjab’s chase, setting the stage for Chennai’s eventual triumph.