Narine the hero in IPL opener
l Abu Dhabi
A four-wicket haul from West Indies ace spinner Sunil Narine stunned champions Mumbai Indians and sent them crashing to defeat in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) yesterday.
Narine grabbed four for 20 to curtail Mumbai’s run chase as Kolkata Knight Riders won by 41 runs in Abu Dhabi.
Mumbai, with another West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago player Kieron Pollard in their lineup, stumbled to 122 for seven after Kolkata had amassed 163 for five, with Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey scoring 72 and 64 respectively.
Kolkata got off to a poor start, losing a scoreless Gautam Gambhir with the total on four in the second over after winning the toss and opting to bat.
However, they quickly bounced back with Kallis and Pandey putting on a 131-run partnership for the second wicket before Lasith Malinga bowled Pandey.
Malinga was a bright light for the otherwise lacklustre Mumbai, taking four for 23 off his four overs.
When Mumbai began their chase, South African Morne Morkel exploited the bounce in the pitch to drain away any momentum the batting side might have gathered and Michael Hussey had one of his worst outings as he pottered around for a 13-ball three before falling to Narine.
Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma, two of the stalwarts of Mumbai over the years, tried to up the scoring but against an attack that didn’t give away much on a surface where the ball wasn’t quite coming on, the asking rate kept on increasing. They put on 61 off 45 deliveries, but when Rohit perished to a tumbling Kallis catch off Morkel in the 16th over, the game was virtually over.
Mumbai needed 63 off 28, but their big-hitting allrounders, Pollard and Corey Anderson, had a horrid time against the guile of Narine.
Kolkata Knight Roders 163-5 (Jacques Kallis 72, Manish Pandey 64; Lasith Malinga 4-23) vs Mumbai Indians 122-7 (Sunil Narine 4-20)
Kolkata Knight Riders won by 41 runs