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HEADLINE: Narine’s days at the top numbered? 2020-10-06 12:51:16 

Kolkata Knight Riders were dealt a killer blow ahead of their 2017 IPL campaign when Andre Russell was suspended for a year as a result of a whereabouts clause violation. Their home ground, the Eden Gardens, was slowly changing from a spinner’s paradise to a flat deck where high totals were a norm than just an exception.

KKR sought to make up for Russell’s big-hitting in the death overs by maximizing the Powerplay overs and brought in Chris Lynn, who was with the franchise for three years but had played just a handful of games without much success. Incidentally, Lynn was known for his big-hitting exploits for Brisbane Heat in the BBL. The move paid immediate dividend when Lynn hit an unbeaten 93 off 41 balls in a ten-wicket win against Gujarat Lions. But KKR endured another setback when Lynn suffered from a shoulder injury after two games into the season that ruled him out for a sizeable number of games.

KKR’s management then thought out of the box and promoted Sunil Narine to the opening slot, considering his hitting prowess against spin and the ability to hit inside-out with the field restrictions around. In his first match as an opener in the IPL, Narine hit 37 off 18 balls, helping KKR chase down 171 in under 17 overs in Mohali. Narine delivered often in the season and kept his spot at the top of the order, adding another bow to his illustrious CV in the T20 circuit. KKR finished the 2017 season with a run rate of 9.40 in the first six overs – the highest ever by a team in a season in 12 years of IPL.

Read more at Barbados Today

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