In overcast conditions at Bangalore, it was Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn who added more misery to Royal Challengers Bangalore in today's 4 pm clash between RCB and KKR. Batting first, Bangalore made a respectable 158 runs with Travis Head anchoring the innings with a well-crafted 75 run knock.
But Kolkata chased the total down with six overs to go and comfortably won the game by six wickets.
KKR opened the batting with Lynn and Narine and the duo hit the Bangalore bowlers ball after ball and took away the game out of the reach of the home team within the powerplay. Colin de Grandhomme completed the chase effectively as he scored 31 runs to guide Kolkata home. Today's win brought Kolkata back on track after Gautam Gambhir's men had looked to have lost the plot in their last two matches.
Royal Challengers Bangalore were asked to bat by KKR at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium as has been the norm at this ground. Virat Kohli made one change to his batting lineup as Travis Head replaced Shane Watson in the starting eleven for the hosts. But their innings started in the worst possible way (just like their entire season has been) when Chris Gayle was caught by Gautam Gambhir at short cover on the very first ball of the innings.
Virat Kohli followed suit after attempting a big heave off Umesh Yadav but was caught lbw. AB de Villiers struck a four off the bowling of Sunil Narine but was clean bowled when on just 10.
A 71- run partnership between Mandeep Singh and Travis Head steadied RCB's innings as their middle order finally clicked in a home game. Mandeep scored his first half-century of the tournament while Head followed him soon with some crisp shots.
The last two overs saw Head change gears as he first hit Chris Woakes for a six in the 19th over and then hammered Umesh Yadav all over the park in the last over of the innings. The Australian hit two sixes and a boundary to finish the innings on a high for the home side in what looked like a decent enough total on the board.
RCB gave KKR a tricky target of 159 with Head top scoring for them with 75 runs. Yadav was the pick of the bowlers for Kolkata as he picked up three wickets and gave away 36 runs in his four-over quota.
The turning point
Chris Lynn made his much-awaited comeback to KKR's starting lineup after spending the last month or so on the sidelines. A big statement was expected from the Queenslander when he came on to bat along with Sunil Narine to open the innings for Kolkata. What followed next not only won the game for their side, but new records were set in the Indian Premier League.
The two batsmen hit a staggering 105 runs in the first six overs as they completely dismantled the Royal Challengers bowlers. KKR became only the second side to score 100 runs in the powerplay after CSK did the same in 2014.
It was Lynn who first started the onslaught as he thumped back to back fours against Aniket Choudhary and then followed it up with a huge 100 meter monstrous six. He then repeated the same treatment to Yuzvendra Chahal as he dismantled the leggie to two fours and then hit a stunning six over the bowler's head.
Then began the Sunil Narine Show! Against Samuel Badree, Narine struck three consecutive sixes to initiate the carnage against the RCB bowlers. He hit each one of them in the long off cauldron as he made Kohli rue his decision of bowling Badree for one more over in the powerplay.
Sreenath Aravind came on to bowl and was also taken to all corners of the ground by the West Indian. The southpaw struck three fours on consecutive deliveries which made him reach 44 runs in just 14 deliveries.
In the next ball, Narine had the chance to create history and he did just that as he smashed one over the long off to score his first fifty in T20 cricket and also the fastest fifty in the history of the IPL. Lynn then smacked two fours and a six off Chahal to bring up his fifty in 21 balls as KKR reached 105 at the end of the first six overs.
Sunil Gavaskar said during this period, "This is like watching the highlights package." It certainly seemed like it as Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine broke the spine of the Bangalore bowlers and took the game away from them completely in a matter of just 36 balls which is the SK Turning Point of the match.