‘Brian Lara would be happy with some of the shots he played’ – Eoin Morgan reacts after Sunil Narine career-best knock at IPL 2024

England’s World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan lauded Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowling all-rounder Sunil Naraine for his match-winning knock against Delhi Capitals (DC) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match, saying that some of the shots he played would make his childhood hero and West Indies legend Brian Lara really happy.

Narine was the tormentor-in-chief as his pyrotechnic-filled 85 in 39 balls helped Kolkata post 272/7, the second-highest total in IPL history, which they defended despite half-centuries from DC skipper Rishabh Pant and Tristan Stubbs. DC was bundled out for 166 runs and lost the game held at Visakhapatnam by 106 runs.

Morgan, the JioCinema IPL expert pointed out that Lara was Narine’s batting idol and how the T20 specialist was a batter in his younger days who could bowl a little seam bowling. But he eventually turned into a spinner who could bat a bit.

“It shows how much he enjoys his batting. As a youngster, he was a batter and used to bowl a little seam. Over time, he developed these magical deliveries and worked hard on them. But he gets so much joy out of his batting. Growing up, his hero was Brian Lara. Lara would be happy with some of the shots played by Narine this evening,” said Morgan about Narine.

Narine has decent numbers in the IPL. In 165 IPL matches, he has scored 1,180 runs at an average of 14.94, at a strike rate of 163.89, with five half-centuries. His best score of 85.

In three matches this season, Narine has scored 134 runs at an average of 44.66 and a strike rate of 206.15, with scores of 2, 47 and 85. He has also taken three wickets so far. He is the ninth-highest run-scorer so far in the season.

When it comes to batting, Narine’s most productive season was back in 2018, scoring 357 runs in 16 matches at an average of 22.31, with a strike rate of over 189. He also slammed two fifties, with the best score of 75.

He led KKR to playoffs with his performances, also picking 17 wickets at an average of 27.47.

Coming to Wednesday’s match, explosive knocks from Sunil Narine (85 in 39 balls, with seven fours and seven sixes), the 18-year-old Angkrish Raghuvanshi (54 in 27 balls, with five fours and three sixes) and cameos from Andre Russell (41 in 19 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes) and Rinku Singh (26 in eight balls, with one four and three sixes) took the two-time champions to 272/7 in 20 overs.

Anrich Nortje (3/59) was the pick of the bowlers for DC, but leaked a lot of runs. Ishant Sharma (2/43) was also solid with the ball. Khaleel Ahmed and Mitchell Marsh took a wicket each.

In the run-chase, DC sunk to 33/4. A 93-run partnership between skipper Rishabh (55 in 25 balls, with four boundaries and five sixes) and Tristan Stubbs (54 in 32 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes) helped DC put up a brief fight and provide some entertainment to their fans, but they were skittled out for 166 in 17.2 overs.

Vaibhav Arora (3/27) and Varun Chakravarthy (3/33) were the pick of the bowlers for KKR. Mitchell Starc also picked up 2/25 in three overs. Andre Russell and Sunil Narine took a wicket each.

Narine won the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his fifty. KKR is at the top, having won all their three games and getting six points. DC is in the ninth spot with one win and three losses, giving them two points.

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