Kolkata Knight Riders rode on impressive knocks by captain Dinesh Karthik (35*) and opener Sunil Narine (50) to start their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 campaign with a four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at Eden Gardens on Sunday. With this victory, KKR's newly-elected skipper gave the two-time champions a bright beginning in the post-Gautam Gambhir era.
With de Villiers blazing all guns at one point their run graph was looking past 200 but part-time off-spinner Rana produced twin dismissals in two balls -- De Villiers and Kohli -- to reduce RCB for 127/4 in 14.2 overs.
Credit to Vinay Kumar, who scalped two wickets of his last two deliveries to pull things back a bit. Bowling with a remodelled action after his latest call of suspect action in the Pakistan Super League last month, Sunil Narine returned with 1/30 while fellow mate Andre Russell conceded 10 runs from two overs.
Sunil Narine gave Kolkata Knight Riders a flying start with a 19-ball 50 and Nitish Rana (34) and new skipper Dinesh Karthik (35 not out) scored crucial knocks as KKR overhauled the target with 7 balls to spare.
England pacer Chris Woakes was the most successful bowler for Virat Kohli-led RCB as he claimed three wickets, while Umesh Yadav and Washington Sundar chipped in with two and one wickets respectively.
Eventually, Narine and Karthik's knocks were enough for Kolkata to finish the job as the skipper ensured that the home fans went back home with a smile on their faces, especially their owner Shah Rukh Khan who was present with his daughter.
Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan applauded and greeted the fans after the match at Eden Gardens.