Shikhar Dhawan* 77(57); | Kane Williamson 36(57);
Dhawal Kulkarni* 2.5-0-18-0; | D Arcy Short 2-0-9-0
Vinay Kumar* 6(3); | Dinesh Karthik 35(3);
Kulwant Khejroliya* 3.5-0-34-0; | Chris Woakes 4-0-36-3
Not quite the double-header you might have expected, but hey who's complaining? KL Rahul slammed the fastest ever T20 League fifty earlier in the day whilst Narine tonked it to all corners, to record his second fastest T20 fifty. And both grabbing the Man of the Match awards too. Tells you where the format is headed. 'Opening batsman' is the most fancy profession right now. So, get a willow and clatter the hell out of leather. We will see you next tomorrow for the clash between Hyderabad and Rajasthan. Until then, this is Raju Peethala bidding adios on behalf of Sagar Chawla, Ramakrishnan, Nikhil Jadhav, Rishi Roy and Sreenivas. Cheers!!
Most wins against BLR in T20 League:13 by MUM (21 matches)12 by PUN (20 matches)12 by CHN (20 matches)12 by KOL (21 matches)*Most wins for KOL against an opponent in T20 League:14 vs PUN (21 matches)12 vs DEL (19 matches)12 vs BLR (21 matches)*
Sunil Narine, Man of the Match: It's good to get the ball rolling in the first game. The support staff and everyone gave me a chance to open the batting again. I wouldn't see myself as an opening batsman, but whatever the team requires of me I'm happy to do, whether it's up the order or down the order. Whatever role the team wants me to play, I'm happy to do it. If I get out first ball, that's okay, that (the attacking style of play) puts a lot more pressure on the fielding team and less on me. It's (the pitch) not as it was before, but it's a good cricket wicket, whatever you do on the field, it's gonna benefit you.
DK: Feels very good. Good to get off to a good start, everybody needs it and I'm no different. I just felt at that point [during the powerplay] of time it was coming out too well for the fast bowlers, so I thought I will try wrist spin and bring little bit of risk so that it will take a little bit of time for them to play the shots. When AB and Virat were playing it was tough, they were too good and they are two great players. Just wished for their wickets after they got starts and we got lucky I guess. We just prayed to God that he [Narine] plays a few balls - I mean he has been doing that pretty well. It's very important that he gets us off to a good start. We all play for the crowd and they came in big numbers. We would love to play for a team like this and a crowd like this.
Virat Kohli: I think we were 15 short with the bat. I played too many dot balls and couldn't get any momentum going. Me and AB getting out in 2 balls to a part-timer was a game-changing event. Sunil took the game away from us with the way he batted. If you are giving 13 an over in the first overs on that sort of a wicket, it's very difficult to comeback. It's difficult for the spinners to bowl on this pitch, the fast bowlers get some purchase and you can score runs as well. It has become a really good cricket wicket over the last couple of years. We made a pretty good game out of it, to drag it till the 19th over and take those wickets was a big positive.
23:41 Local Time, 18:11 GMT, 23:41 IST: AB was spot on when he said (during the onfield interview) that BLR were good 20-30 runs short with the bat. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the game, right there! Imagine if KOL had 20 more to chase, and imagine if Umesh Yadav had one more over. Can assume all sorts of permutations and combinations, but it's always good to reflect on what went wrong in hindsight. Narine, with his lesser-known skill, provided the perfect platform [a 17-ball 50] in the powerplay overs and that allowed KOL and the rest of the batters to sit back and pick their moments/bowlers for the rest of the game. And when you have the luxury of Russell batting at 7, runs required would be a lesser parameter to worry about. DK anchored it neatly towards the end, offering Nitish Rana and Russell the much-needed freedom to go after their shots.
Kulwant Khejroliya [3.0-0-25-0] is back into the attack
Vinay Kumar, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Woakes to A Russell, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Time-out! 30 needed from 24, this is KOL's game to lose from hereon. Fasten your seatbelts folks, brace yourself for a possible 19th over finish, but for that to happen KOL has to remain unscathed in this over as Umesh Yadav - the best bowler on show tonight - gets ready to bowl his final over
Eleven years, and veteran Shirshendu Roy, is still entranced by the charm of the T20 League: "Not long back, Karthik from behind the stumps, had been hand holding Sundar, in the Nidahas Trophy. Some nuggets in Tamil were in full flow. And now, Karthik and Sundar are going at each other. The magic of T20 League!"
Andre Russell, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Woakes to Rinku Singh, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Chris Woakes [2.0-0-24-1] is back into the attack
Rinku Singh, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Washington Sundar to Nitish Rana, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Washington Sundar [3.0-0-38-0] is back into the attack
False start from Sundar? Oh no, it's DK who pulled off at the last minute
Kulwant Khejroliya [2.0-0-19-0] is back into the attack
Deepu's stats corner: "Out of the 30 overs Sundar bowled in T20 League 2017, only 4 came in the second half of the innings." -- AHA!
Yuzvendra Chahal [1.0-0-12-0] is back into the attack
Right then, Kohli's trump-card is back....
Washington Sundar [2.0-0-29-0] is back into the attack
Deepu is still in awe of Narine: "He's scored 139 runs off 54 balls @257.40 in his four outings against BLR, with 16 fours and 10 sixes." *Gaping* :O.
Dinesh Karthik, right handed bat, comes to the crease
U Yadav to Uthappa, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
A fascinating little anecdote from Shirsh at the Eden: "Last year, Shah Rukh Khan, wasn't able to attend too many games at the Eden Gardens owing to his primary commitments. But with him turning up for the season opener at his adopted home ground, the DJ is milking this opportunity to the hilt. Only SRK songs, on the loop. Speakers blaring out and the crowd in the B block, just below the one where the superstar is, not wasting a moment to turn around with a hope to see a dance move." - Chal Chhaiyaan Chhaiyaan is bound to be on the playlist :D.
Kulwant Khejroliya, left-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Time-out! What an eventful powerplay that was. Boundaries, sixes, a fiery fifty by Narine, it had all in it. But that over by Umesh Yadav is a gentle reminder that this game is far away from getting over. Would be interesting to see if he gets a wicket or more after the time-out.
Nitish Rana, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Fastest 50s in T20 League:14 KL RAHUL v DEL, 201815 Y Pathan v HYD, 2014; S Narine v BLR, 201716 S Raina v PUN, 201417 Gilchrist v DEL, 2009;Gayle v PUNE, 2013; Morris v GUJ, 2017; Pollard v KOL, 2016; Narine v BLR, today
U Yadav to Narine, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Umesh Yadav, right-arm fast, comes into the attack
Narine's love-affair with BLR before this game: 1(1)*, 34(17), 54(17)89 runs off 35 balls, 12 fours, 5 sixes
Most catches as fielder in T20 League:86 S Raina73 AB de Villiers72 Rohit Sharma70 K Pollard60 D Bravo/ V Kohli
Washington Sundar, right-arm off break, comes into the attack
Robin Uthappa, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Woakes to Chris Lynn, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Chris Woakes, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
A well-timed stat from Deepu: Narine has a SR of 221.21 against spin compared to 131.25 vs pace. He hits a six every 5.50 balls vs spin in comparison to 24 balls vs pace.
Narine and Chris Lynn are at the crease. Narine is on strike. Chahal will open the attack