KKR vs RCB: Kolkata opt to bat first

SRK at Eden Garden

SRK at Eden Garden

Brendon McCullum, 3. Virat Kohli (c), 4.

Narine punishes RCB - again: Virat Kohli must get sick of watching Sunil Narine at the crease, with the Trinadian blasting a vital 50 from just 19 balls to give Kolkata the ideal platform to launch from.

One of the favorites to go all the way in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL), Royal Challengers Bangalore kick off their campaign with a clash against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on April 8. Within two balls, Rana claimed world cricket's two-most destructive batsmen and set Kolkata on a course for victory. Kohli is clear at [3.4] but AB De Villiers, after issues with injury, looked somewhere close to his best towards the end of the South African worldwide season and he's the pick at a generous [4.3].

Kohli (31 off 33) played the second fiddle. The visitors, from 127/4, recovered to post a competitive 176/7 thanks to some late-burst from Mandeep Singh (37, 18b, 4x4, 2x6). Chasing a target of 177 on a flat deck, the Knight Riders scored 65/2 in the powerplay and thereafter the target always seemed in sight.

Kolkata's innings, in contrast, got off to a flyer as Sunil Narine, the West Indies worldwide, smashed a 17-ball fifty.

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A sensational display of pace bowling from Umesh Yadav brought RCB back on track as he produced a twin blow, dismissing Narine and Robin Uthappa. Sarfaraz Khan, 6. Chris Woakes, 7. Last time when RCB met KKR, they just got all out for 49 runs which is the worst record in the IPL history.

Narine's dominance continued in the next over with the young Washington Sundar at the receiving end. The right-hander eventually got out at 51 after hitting six fours and four sixes. After scalping two big wickets, Rana was taken off the attack. Sundar gave away 19 runs and KKR raced to 65 in five overs.

For Bangalore, Chris Woakes scalped three wickets while Umesh Yadav picked two. McCullum, who fetched 14 runs in the first over of the innings from Vinay Kumar, pounced on every loose ball.

While Kohli was struggling for big ones, de Villiers took off in style.

Kolkata: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Mitchell Johnson are the four overseas players.

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