Kolkata suffered a few anxious moments in the climactic stages when Mohammed Siraj took two wickets in the 18th over, but Shakib Al Hasan and captain Eoin Morgan steered their team to safety. Kolkata will next take on Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 2 on Wednesday for a place in the final. It was a sad end to Virat Kohli’s stint as Bangalore skipper as he announced earlier that he was going to relinquish the captaincy after this season.
Set to chase a modest target of 139, Kolkata got there with two balls to spare. At the halfway stage, it looked as if the two-time champion was cruising, well-placed at 74 for two. But, a flurry of wickets in the middle overs ensured a tense finish.
Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer once again got their team off to a confident start before Harshal Patel removed the former for 29 in the last over of the powerplay. Narine, who scalped four wickets for 21 runs, chipped in with a quickfire 26 (15b, 3x6) towards the end to calm his team’s nerves.
Earlier, riding on a vintage effort from Narine, Kolkata restricted Bangalore to a sub-par 138 for seven. Narine (4/21) sent RCB’s big guns back in the dug-out as Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell had no answer to his turning deliveries under a pressure situation.
With Varun Chakravarthy (0/20) not conceding a single boundary and left-armer Shakib (0/24) also keeping the batsmen on a tight leash, the KKR’s spin troika gave away only 65 runs in their 12 overs with four boundaries.
Devdutt Padikkal (21 off 18 balls) and skipper Kohli (39 off 33 balls) got off to a great start by adding 49 runs in the first five powerplay overs after Morgan started with left-arm spin of Shakib.
The opening duo attacked an under-pressure Shivam Mavi with as many as five boundaries coming in those first few overs. However, it was Lockie Ferguson (2/30), whose extra pace did Padikkal in as the left-hander, trying to cut, dragged a delivery that pitched well outside off-stump.
RCB’s last league match hero KS Bharat (9 off 16 balls) was clearly troubled because of the slowness of the track with spinners getting the ball to grip off the surface. He was Narine’s first of the four victims when he tried to loft the spinner over long-off but didn’t reach to the pitch of the delivery and holed out in the deep by Venkatesh Iyer.
BRIEF SCORES: Royal Challengers Bangalore 138/7 in 20 overs (V Kohli 39, S Narine 4/21) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 139/6 in 19.4 overs (S Gill 29, V Iyer 26, S Narine 26)