CLT20 7th Match: Kolkata win 11th straight game behind brilliant performances from Narine and Gambhir

Narine finished with incredible figures of 3-9 off his four overs

Narine (right) finished with incredible figures of 3-9 off his four overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The Kolkata Knight Riders won their 11th consecutive match after beating the Lahore Lions by four wickets in Hyderabad.

West Indies spinner Sunil Narine starred with the ball as he took three wickets and only gave away nine runs, while captain Gautam Gambhir excelled with the bat, scoring a brilliant half-century.

However, Lahore opener Ahmed Shehzad deserves some credit as he scored a valiant 59.

Gambhir would have been pondering over his decision to bowl first after Shehzad and Nasir Jamshed amassed a 50-run partnership before Jamshed was run out by Andre Russell for 10 runs.

Lahore skipper Mohammad Hafeez failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught by Russell at deep midwicket off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav for nine runs.

Shehzad went on to score 59 off 42 balls, which included five boundaries and four sixes, before he was caught by Robin Uthappa at long-on off the bowling of Piyush Chawla.

Shehzad scored a gutsy 59

Shehzad scored a gutsy 59

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Following Shehzad’s dismissal, Narine ripped through Lahore’s middle order as they went from 91/3 to 103/6.

Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz stabilised the innings with a 48-run partnership before Akmal was caught by Gambhir at point off the bowling of Pat Cummins.

Akmal’s quickfire knock of 40 came off 24 balls and included three boundaries and two sixes.

Thanks to Shehzad and Akmal, Lahore finished on 151/7 off their 20 overs.

Narine was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Yadav, Chawla and Cummins chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 152 to win, Kolkata got off to a superb start as Gambhir and Uthappa put together a 100-run partnership, during which Gambhir brought up his half-century, before Uthappa was clean bowled by Adnan Rasool for 46 off 34 balls, which included four boundaries and two sixes.

Gambhir ended up making 60 off 47 deliveries, which included eight boundaries, before he was cleaned up by Mustafa Iqbal.

Gambhir smashed eight boundaries during his knock of 60

Gambhir smashed eight boundaries during his knock of 60

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Manvinder Bisla only made six runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Aizaz Cheema.

Yusuf Pathan mustered 11 runs before he was caught by Riaz at mid-on off the bowling of Cheema.

Ryan ten Doeschate fared no better as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Riaz for 12 runs.

Andre Russell scored one run before he was caught by Rasool off the bowling of Asif Raza.

However, despite the late flurry of wickets, Kolkata managed cross the finish line with three balls to spare.

Cheema was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Raza, Riaz, Rasool and Iqbal claimed one wicket each.

Hafeez was disappointed to have lost the game, and said: “We got the target we wanted to. 150 on this pitch [was good] with the way the ball was turning. But, our fielding was not up to the mark. We did not take some chances. Still it was a good show, youngsters are learning every game, we have to give them confidence, they will do well. Shehzad was magnificent. Narine bowled well.”

Gambhir was pleased with his team’s performance, and said: “[It was] important that the openers gave a good platform and made it easy for the middle order. The middle order had won us the last game. It was a kind of wicket where you never know what a good total is. Robin took his time and later played good shots. I do not want to be too critical (about the fielding). We have won 11 in a row which is a great achievement.”

Narine was named Man of the Match, and said: “Mainly it is trying to keep down the run rate in the Powerplay and hopefully pick up a wicket or two. He (Kuldeep Yadav) is a pretty good bowler, he is young and has a lot to learn.”

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