Narine spins KKR into semis
HYDERABAD, India (CMC): Sunil Narine once again proved his weight in gold, conjuring up a four-wicket haul to help fire Kolkata Knight Riders to a three-wicket win over Perth Scorchers and into the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20 yesterday.
The West Indies off-spinner took four for 31 from his four overs as the Scorchers, choosing to bat first at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, were limited to 151 for seven off their 20 overs.
With Knight Riders hurtling to defeat at 87 for five in the 15th over, Suryakumar Yadav blasted four sixes and a four in an unbeaten 43 off just 19 balls, to see his side home with two balls to spare.
The victory kept Knight Riders unbeaten and put them on top of Pool A with 12 points, securing their spot in the final four with a game to spare.
Scorchers were given a great start by openers Adam Voges and Craig Simmons, who put on 68 to provide the early momentum.
Voges struck eight fours and a six, batting through the innings to finish unbeaten on 71 from 52 balls, while Simmons scored 39.
However, teenaged left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav ripped through the top order with three for 24, before Narine went to work on the middle and lower order.
Narine claimed Sam Whiteman for 21 in his second over, the 16th of the innings, taken at long-on after being smashed for six the previous ball. He then bowled Ashton Agar (four) and Ashton Turner (zero) with successive deliveries in the next over before having Yasir Arafat caught at point for 10 off the penultimate delivery of the innings.
In reply, Knight Riders lost wickets steadily until Suryakumar Yadav turned the game on its head. With KKR needing 24 from the last two overs, he cleared the ropes with the last two deliveries of the penultimate over to tilt the advantage his side's way.
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell missed a heave and was bowled for four off the first ball of the final over, but Piyush Chawla struck seamer Arafat to long-off for four three balls later to seal victory, with Joel Paris flooring a difficult catch and the ball trickling into the boundary.