With three wickets down at 42, Kolkata Knight Riders were looking down the barrel when Sunil Narine walked in to join Nitish Rana in the middle and what followed was a brilliant partnership that saw Kolkata ultimately finish on 194/6 against Delhi Capitals in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
While Rana hit a quality 81 off just 53 balls, it was Narine’s 32-ball 64 that brought Kolkata right back into the game after the early damage from the Delhi Capitals bowlers. The 115-run partnership ensured that from a 160-ish total, KKR could get till 194 — the second-highest score at the venue in this edition of the IPL.
With former skipper Dinesh Karthik failing to rise to the challenge and getting out for just three, it looked like a collapse was on the cards. But speaking to the host broadcasters during the mid innings break, Narine said that he backs himself to do well against the spinners and DC having spinners on helped him.
“It was a part of the plan, whatever the situation was. I back myself to play spin, but we have the momentum, so hopefully, we take it into the field get some early wickets. We were looking for 160, but 194 is a good total,” Narine said.
Asked about the wicket, the spinner said: “It’s a good batting track as well. I think there’s a little more for the seamers. We need to execute the wide yorkers well.”
The spinner said he was happy to be back into the playing XI after missing a couple of games. “It’s been a while, so I’m happy to be back,” he said.