IPL 2024: KKR reach highest T20 total at Eden Gardens against PBKS

Sunil Narine and Phil Salt's opening stand was the highlight of the innings

Kolkata Knight Riders Sunil Narine with Phil Salt | PTI Kolkata Knight Riders Sunil Narine celebrates his half century with Phil Salt | PTI

Sunil Narine and Phil Salt's smoking hot opening partnership set the tone as Kolkata Knight Riders posted an imposing 261/6 against Punjab Kings in an IPL match at the Eden Gardens on Friday.

This was KKR's second-ever 250-plus total, both coming during the current season.

Narine blasted nine fours and four sixes in his 32-ball 71 -- his third fifty-plus score of the season after 85 against Delhi Capitals and 109 versus Rajasthan Royals.

Narine also jumped to second spot in the race for the 'Orange Cap' for leading run-getters with 357 runs from eight matches, 73 runs behind Virat Kohli (430 runs) who has played one match extra.

Salt also was at his explosive best and blazed his way to his third fifty of the season in his 37-ball 75, studded with six fours and half a dozen sixes.

Narine's fifty came off just 23 balls, while Salt took two more deliveries to complete the milestone as the KKR opening duo reeled off 100 runs in just eight overs.

They also posted the season's highest opening partnership of 138, eclipsing 134 by Lucknow Super Giant's KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock in their match against Chennai Super Kings on April 19.

At 190/2 from 15 overs, KKR seemed well on course to improve upon their highest total of 272/7 that came against Delhi Capitals in Visakhapatnam on April 3.

But their middle and lower order failed to capitalise and it was Shreyas Iyer's 10-ball 28 (1x4, 3x6) which went a long way in taking them past 260-run mark.

Narine and Salt departed in space of 13 balls and the ploy to promote Andre Russell at No 4 worked partially as he maintained the momentum scoring 24 off just 12 balls at a strike-rate of 200.

There was a brief lull in the middle and 250 seemed remote before Iyer hit top gear against Sam Curran.

From being five from four balls, the KKR skipper smashed the English left-arm quick for three sixes and one four before being dismissed by Arshdeep Singh who returned with 2/45.

On a sultry evening with no rainfall in sight in parched Kolkata, it was raining sixes and fours courtesy Narine and Salt, who put an otherwise PBKS bowling into submission with their belligerent display.

After a tidy opening over by Curran in which he conceded just seven runs, Harshal Patel made it easy for Salt by consistently bowling him in the slot as the Englishman smashed him for successive 6-4-6 through the midwicket region.

Narine picked the fiery Rabada for his assault and picked his slower one for a monstrous 95-metre six over midwicket.

Be it wide yorker or one on his toes, Narine did not have any trouble as the ball kept soaring into the stands.

Narine brought up his fifty in 23 balls, slamming the Proteas pacer for back-to-back boundaries.

Narine also successfully reviewed to overturn an LBW decision off Rahul Chahar on 60.

Punjab Kings fielding left a lot to be desired as Narine was dropped on 16 by Harpreet Brar, while Salt got two successive reprieves on 34 and 35 from Curran and Rabada respectively.

Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar finally provided the much-needed breakthrough for PBKS in the 11th over, when Narine finally being caught after he failed to clear long on. 

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