KKR's Sunil Narine foxes one and all with his bat
Sunil Narine is back for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), this time with the bat. Just when it looked like Narine was no more a mystery after he rose to KKR's pinnacle in the wicket-taking column (105 in 78 matches), the West Indian has roared back with a typical spell 1/19 in four overs. But what surprised one and all was the way he batted.
Sans the services of Chris Lynn who is recuperating from a shoulder injury, KKR pulled a rabbit out of their hat by sending Narine along with Gautam Gambhir to open the batting. Chasing 171 for victory against Kings XI Punjab at the Eden Gardens, it was a move that left everyone talking and later, applauding.
First, it was whether the 28-year-old who averages 13.18 in T20Is for the West Indies and 12.03 in T20 first class cricket has ever opened before.
Six overs later, Narine was dismissed by pacer Varun Aaron but not before cracking an 18-ball 37, featuring four fours and three sixes. Narine, who in six Tests, 65 ODIs, and 43 T20Is has never batted higher than at the eightg spot (in Tests and ODIs) and sixth in T20Is, got a standing ovation from the Eden crowd as he returned to the pavilion.
"Actually we were quite surprised," Kings XI and India pacer Ishant Sharma told media persons after the game on Thursday.
"Then Maxi (Glenn Maxwell, Kings XI captain) told us in the CPL and Big Bash he opened the batting for a few teams. We didn't know how he is going to bat. We were thinking about Robin Uthappa, so when you see that you don't know what's going to happen," Ishant added laughing.