Kolkata: A brilliant Robin Uthappa slammed his second half-century of the tournament while Sunil Narine played a cameo at the top as Kolkata Knight Riders toyed with Gujarat Lions lackluster attack to post a commanding 187 for five in an Indian Premier League match, here.
It was raining boundaries and sixes at Eden Gardens with Narine using his long handle to great effect.
Narine played 42-run cameo knock that came off just 17 balls as he and skipper Gautam Gambhir put together quickfire 45 runs off 20 balls for the opening stand to get KKR off to a blazing start.
After Narine's departure, Uthappa, in his 50th appearance for KKR, made a feast of the lacklustre Gujarat Lions attack and smashed 72 runs in 47 balls with the help of eight fours and two sixes to post his second halfcentury of the season and 19th overall in IPL.
Dropped on six by Aaron Finch at long on, Uthappa put together 69 runs off 49 balls with Gambhir (33 from 28 balls; 2x4s, 1x6).
It was yet another insipid bowling display by Gujarat Lions as Raina (1/11) looked lack of resources and was forced to bowl two overs.
KKR had routed Gujarat Lions by 10 wickets in the first leg match in Rajkot with Chris Lynn and Gambhir putting on a T20 record opening stand of 184.
Narine, the makeshift KKR opener, dealt only in boundaries en route to a blistering 42 from 17 balls (9x4s, 1x6) -- an IPL highest score only in boundaries, bettering Sanath Jayasuriya's 36 (6x4s, 2x6s).
Narine had shown his big-hitting skills as an opener in his T20 career-best 37 against Kings XI Punjab earlier in the tournament and now he got past that mark with another blistering knock.
He swung his bat to every ball and the Gujarat Lions new ball attack of Praveen Kumar and James Faulkner was found wanting.
Narine began his assault with three boundaries in Praveen Kumar's first over that yielded 12 runs, and then he hammered four boundaries, three of them on succession, off Faulkner's next over.
Looking for some respite, Raina brought on Basil Thampi who's known for bowling consistent yorkers. But the Kerala speedster too failed to arrest Narine's run flow as hit him for two fours and one six to take KKR to 44 after three overs.
A desperate Raina brought himself in the fourth over, a move that finally worked as Narine failed to clear the in- field this time giving a straight forward catch to Faulkner at midwicket.
The spectacular start meant KKR raced to 65 for one in the powerplay as Gambhir and Uthappa built the innings from there on.
Gambhir mistimed a pull shot and the top edge ballooned up in the sky before Raina completed the catch but Uthappa stayed on to bring up his second fifty of the season in 35 balls.
First Published: 21 Apr 2017 10:05 PM