IPL 2018: Sublime Sunil Narine takes KXIP unawares with blistering fifty for KKR

Sunil Narine at last returned to form and did just what Kolkata had retained him for ahead of IPL 2018.

IPL 2018: Sublime Sunil Narine takes KXIP unawares with blistering fifty for KKR
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Sunil Narine at last returned to form and did just what Kolkata had retained him for ahead of IPL 2018.

There were never any doubts over his bowling prowess but Kolkata probably decided to keep him largely in light of his new-found batting talent.

He justified their decision with a match-winning fifty in the team's opener against Bangalore on April 8. However, he waned thereafter and that coincided with Kolkata's many losses in the tournament.

Despite starting well in the league, they found themselves in a must-win situation against Punjab at Indore on Saturday. The situation demanded a special performance and Narine returned to form just at the right time. 

After hosts Punjab decided to bowl, both Kolkata openers - Chris Lynn and Narine - fired on all cylinders from the word go. Lynn even hit Barinder Sran for a gigantic six.

Things really looked ominous for Punjab at the stage. However, Purple Cap holder Andrew Tye bowled Lynn against the run of play to breathe some life into the Punjab camp. 

One expected Narine to quiet down after Lynn's wicket for 27 but the West Indian continued batting in the same vein and shortly after reached his second fifty of this season.

Narine got good support from Robin Uthappa (24) and their 75-run stand for the second wicket ensured KKR built nicely on the 53-run opening stand.

Narine eventually got out for a 36-ball 75 with the help of nine fours and four sixes. Uthappa and he fell to Tye in quick succession but by that time Narine had done his job and put KKR on course for a big score. 

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