IPL 2024: Phil Salt, Sunil Narine heroics help KKR post 261/6 against PBKS

Kolkata: Openers Phil Salt and Sunil Narine slammed rollicking half-centuries while sharing an opening partnership of 138 runs in 10.2 overs as they propelled Kolkata Knight Riders to a mammoth 261/6 against Punjab Kings in Match 42 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.

While Salt made 75, Narine slammed 71 as the duo was also helped by PBKS dropping three catches collectively in the first seven overs to smash the bowlers to all parts of the park. After the duo fell, Andre Russell, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer brought out the big hits to take KKR to the highest-ever IPL total at Eden Gardens, with the help of 22 fours and 18 sixes.

Salt and Narine’s 138-run partnership against PBKS is the second-highest opening partnership by any KKR pair in IPL history behind the unbeaten 184 runs stand shared by Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir against Gujarat Lions on April 7, 2017. It is also the fifth time in this IPL season that teams batting first have crossed 250, with KKR’s 261/6 being the sixth-highest total in the history of the competition.

Pushed into batting first, Narine began by driving a juicy half-volley from Sam Curran for four. He then hit Arshdeep Singh for a six and four before being dropped by Harpreet Brar off Harshal Patel in the third over. Salt joined the boundary-hitting party with a four sandwiched between two sixes.

The carnage continued as Salt drove Kagiso Rabada through the line for four before Narine slammed two fours and six on the last three balls of the fourth over. The duo hit three more boundaries before Salt had a reprieve in the last over of Power-play as KKR signed off from the phase with 76/0.

After that, Salt was given another life when Rabada dropped a chance off Rahul Chahar, making it the third time PBKS shelled a chance. Narine reverse-swept, drove and sliced for his boundaries to reach his fifty in only 23 balls before Salt swivelled and lapped off Rabada for four and six respectively.

Salt got a 25-ball fifty, his third half-century of the season, by dispatching Chahar through extra cover for four, as KKR reached 137/0 at the halfway mark. PBKS finally held on to a catch as Narine holed out to long-on off Curran, falling for 71 off just 32 balls. Two overs later, Salt was castled by Curran for a 37-ball 75.

Russell clubbed two fours and as many sixes in his 12-ball 24, before hooking to square leg off Arshdeep. Shreyas pulled, drove, flicked and sliced to hit Curran for a boundary and three sixes in his 10-ball 28, before giving a catch to deep third man off Arshdeep in the 19th over. Venkatesh, Rinku Singh and Ramandeep Singh hit some boundaries at the end to take KKR past 260.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 261/6 in 20 overs (Phil Salt 75, Sunil Narine 71; Arshdeep Singh 2-45, Rahul Chahar 1-33) against Punjab Kings

Also read: IPL 2024: Bairstow in, Starc out as PBKS elect to bowl first against KKR

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