IPL

Lynn and Narine power Knight Riders to Royals hammering

By Sports Desk April 07, 2019
Sunil Narine. Sunil Narine.

Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine's fearless batting ensured Kolkata Knight Riders made light work of Rajasthan Royals in a dominant eight-wicket Indian Premier League win.

Steve Smith made 73 off 59 but the Royals' pedestrian 139-3 on a slow track at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium proved well below par.

Lynn (50) and Narine's (47) partnership had yet to truly burst into life this season, but an opening stand of 91 laid the foundations for a victory that was sealed with 37 balls remaining.

It is a win that sends the high-flying Knight Riders back to the top of the table after five matches, while the Royals are second-bottom with just one win to their name.


IN-FORM RUSSELL LEFT RESTLESS

Andre Russell has been the star of the IPL this season, smashing 207 runs from four innings at an astonishing strike-rate of 268.83.

But such was the ease of the Knight Riders' win, the West Indies international was not needed in Jaipur.

There was a display of 'Lynnsanity' as the Australia batsman smoked 50 off 32, nailing six fours and three sixes – including a mammoth effort over midwicket that struck the windscreen of a sponsor car.

Narine matched Lynn for fours and sixes, with his knock coming off just 25 balls.


SMITH SHOW IN VAIN, GURNEY IMPRESSES ON DEBUT

Initially, the pitch in Jaipur appeared favourable to the batsmen, but the fact the big-hitting Jos Buttler scored a sedate 37 off 34 suggested otherwise.

A sandstorm in the area before the match was more volatile than the Royals' batting, although Smith's 73 off 59 – including seven fours and a six – will be pleasing to Australia fans ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

Debutant Harry Gurney impressed for Kolkata with the ball, the seamer finishing with figures of 2-25 including tempting Buttler with a slower one that Shubman Gill took impressively on the deep-midwicket boundary.

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    Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed delivered mixed news on the injury front and acknowledged his side need to improve their fielding after they were beaten by three wickets at Trent Bridge to lose their ODI series against England.

    Having lost with respective totals of 361 and 358 at Southampton and Bristol respectively, Pakistan failed to defend a score of 340-7 on Friday, despite a significant wobble from their hosts in reply.

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    In the post-match presentation, Sarfraz lamented Pakistan's mistakes and provided updates on the fitness of Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Amir.

    "If we were fielding well and took catches, we had enough runs on the board," said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

    "We've been working very hard for the last one and a half years and it was very improved, but the way we've fielded here in three matches is not up to the mark. We have to improve."

    Imam was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the elbow by a delivery from Mark Wood, but the opener was cleared of a fracture following X-rays and returned late in Pakistan's innings.

    Paceman Amir, meanwhile, has yet to feature in the series due to illness and it is unclear when he will be able to return, with Pakistan's Cricket World Cup opener just a fortnight away.

    "Imam hopefully will be ok," said Sarfraz. "He's got a bruise on his elbow so hopefully he will come back, but I'm not sure about Amir."

    Roy revealed his impressive innings had come as something of a surprise after he spent the night in hospital with his daughter.

    He told the BBC's Test Match Special: "I'm not in the form of my life. It was not my most fluent of innings but it was an extremely special feeling to get over three figures. I didn't see it coming.

    "I had a bit of a rough morning so this one is a special one for me and my family.

    "It was my little one. We had to take her to hospital at 1:30 in the morning. I stayed there until 8:30 and came back for a couple of hours sleep and got to the ground just before the warm-up and cracked on. It was a very emotional hundred."

  • Stokes guides England to series win after Babar and Roy hundreds Stokes guides England to series win after Babar and Roy hundreds

    Ben Stokes and Tom Curran rode to England's rescue as they overcame a major wobble with the bat to beat Pakistan by three wickets at Trent Bridge and open up an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

    The much-changed hosts - led by Jos Buttler with Eoin Morgan suspended - were initially cruising in pursuit of 341, reaching 201-1 inside 28 overs on the back of Jason Roy's 89-ball 114.

    Roy's dismissal at the hands of Mohammad Hasnain triggered an alarming and unexpected collapse that saw England lose four wickets for 15 runs in 17 deliveries.

    The required run-rate rose above nine per over thereafter but Stokes (71 not out) shared a crucial seventh-wicket partnership of 61 with Curran, who followed up figures of 4-75 with 31 runs, before sealing victory in the company of Adil Rashid with three balls unused as Pakistan were left to rue a series of sloppy errors in the field.

    For the third match in succession, a Pakistan century proved in vain, Babar Azam striking 115 from 112 balls in a losing cause.

    Pakistan's total of 340-7 represented their lowest score of the series so far and looked short of par at a venue synonymous with high-scoring feats in recent years, most notably when England registered a world-record tally of 481-6 against Australia last June.

    The tourists were dealt a blow early in their innings when Imam-ul-Haq was struck on his left elbow by a Mark Wood short ball and forced to retire hurt. Happily, X-rays showed the opener had avoided a fracture and he returned at the end of his side's innings to finish six not out.

    Babar, brought to the crease in the fourth over due to Imam's injury, produced some typically thrilling strokes as he shared in century stands with Fakhar Zaman (57) and the recalled Mohammad Hafeez, who made a somewhat streaky 59.

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    Roy rode his luck in reply and would have been run out for seven had Babar managed a direct hit. The opener also offered chances on 25 and 33 and made Pakistan pay for their missed opportunities, kicking on superbly after James Vince had been bowled by Hasnain for 43.

    A stunning six over cover off Hafeez brought up Roy's hundred, before he, Joe Root (36), Buttler (0) and Moeen Ali (0) all departed in quick succession to breathe fresh life into the contest.

    Junaid Khan then pulled off a superb catch off his own bowling to account for Joe Denly (17), but Pakistan's fielding was hugely unimpressive on the whole and they seemingly failed to appeal when Curran may have been run out for seven.

    With Pakistan looking increasingly ragged, England gradually regained control and Stokes fittingly hit the winning run to round off an encouraging individual display ahead of the Cricket World Cup on home soil.

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