[disable-amp: false] Sunil Narine makes it a night to remember as KKR post IPL’s second highest total

Andukuri Phaneendra

Sunil Narine and Andre Russell are not going to win two many points for batting aesthetics. Their methods are mostly agricultural, but when they come off – like they did against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday when Kolkata Knight Riders amassed 272/7– there’s not much a bowling attack can do. Narine relies on a sharp eye and a clean bat-swing, while Russell’s strength is brute power.

Narine’s batting can be described as slogging, and it is, but it’s educated slogging. Having been a great T20 bowler for a long time, he knows how a bowler thinks, especially when he is hit for a few boundaries. The two-bouncer-an-over rule was expected to make life difficult for his ilk, who plant their front foot down the pitch, knowing the general area where the ball is going to land, and swinging merrily.

But Narine, at least at Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, guessed the intention of the bowlers correctly. When they pitched short, he either swayed away from the line to swat them either square of the wicket or even straight, or cut or slash balls through the off-side. It helped that the DC bowlers were generous in offering width, and skipper Rishabh Pant didn’t feel confident enough to go for reviews when he should have. Twice Pant erred on the side of caution, erroneously, after catching what later turned out to be edges.