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IPL 2024: Narine, Raghuvanshi, Russell & Rinku carry KKR to second-highest score of the tournament

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Visakhapatnam, April 3 (IANS) Sunil Narine (85), Angkrish Raghuvanshi (54), Andre Russell (41) and Rinku Singh (26) produced blistering fireworks in carrying Kolkata Knight Riders to a gigantic 272/2 against Delhi Capitals, which is also the second-highest total in IPL’s history.

On a placid pitch, KKR produced two hours of sensational carnage by hitting 22 fours and 18 sixes, with DC bowlers minus Kuldeep Yadav and Mukesh Kumar bearing the brunt of ruthless big-hitting. Narine was quick in creating room and lofting with ease to collect runs for fun in what is now his highest T20 score ever.Young Raghuvanshi, a member of India’s 2022 U19 World Cup winning campaign, impressed with his wrist work and the ability take on DC’s bowlers by mixing innovation with copybook strokeplay to get his maiden IPL fifty. Russell and Rinku brought out their usual fireworks at the end to add more intensity to KKR’s batting carnage in Visakhapatnam.Electing to bat first, KKR got going with Phil Salt taking two fours off Ishant Sharma in the second over. Narine got into the act by slashing Khaleel Ahmed through the off-side for a boundary, before Salt joined in with two driven fours to take 15 runs off the third over.Boundaries continued to flow for Narine as he smacked two sixes off Ishant – a length ball was lofted over mid-off and a short delivery pulled over deep square leg. He then guided the pacer through backward point for a boundary, carved drive over long-off for six and ended the over with a thick edge going for four to bring up KKR’s fifty at the end of fourth over.Anrich Nortje made an immediate impact when Salt was caught at mid-off in the fifth over, but young Raghuvanshi pulled and punched off him to get two quick boundaries. Narine, who was lucky to survive on 24 when Rishabh Pant failed to take a review on a faint edge, hit Rasikh Salam for three fours and a six to complete a 21-ball fifty as KKR ended power-play at 88/1, going past 85/0 they made against RCB last week.Post power-play, there was no respite for DC as Narine and Raghuvanshi continued to take runs aplenty against the bowlers. Narine nonchalantly hammered Axar Patel for two sixes, while Raghuvanshi was impressive in using wrists and fast bat-swing to smash boundaries, with a reverse-hit off Rasikh going over third man for six being the standout.Narine moved towards his highest T20 score ever with a flat-batted six over long-off against Nortje, also bringing up his 100-run stand with Raghuvanshi. But Mitchell Marsh took him out with a bouncer in the 13th over, which Narine looked to pull, but gave a faint nick behind to Pant, falling after making 85 off just 39 balls.Raghuvanshi would get his maiden IPL fifty off just 25 balls, but fell for 54 two balls later when he tried to ramp off Nortje and was caught at deep third man. Russell feasted on hit-me deliveries from Nortje and Salam to hit two fours and as many sixes before the second time-out.Post interval, Russell smashed two sixes and a four, while captain Shreyas Iyer hammered two maximums, before getting a top-edge on a short ball from Khaleel to mid-on. Things went from bad to worse for DC as over-rate penalty was imposed for last two overs, allowing them to have only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle.Rinku had some fun by using his strong bottom hand to smash Nortje for three sixes and a four, before toe-ending a slog to mid-on. Ishant produced a magical moment by having Russell floored with a menacing 144kmph inswinging yorker and had Ramandeep Singh caught at extra cover to keep KKR short of breaking SRH’s record of 277.Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 272/7 in 20 overs (Sunil Narine 85, Angkrish Raghuvanshi 54; Anrich Nortje 3-59, Ishant Sharma 2-43) against Delhi Capitals–IANSnr/

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