Sunil Narine got Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) off to a flyer against Kings XI Punjab, when he was sent ahead of Robin Uthappa to open the batting for his team. Narine didn't disappoint with the bat as he took the Punjab attack to the cleaners early on the innings. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir seems to be mighty pleased with Narine's batting efforts and also went on to add that he needs to start trusting the West Indian spinner also with the bat.
The move to open the batting with Sunil Narine turned out to a masterstroke for Kolkata.
"This is a beautiful wicket to bat on and we had some quality fast bowlers. Umesh Yadav coming back made it easy for us," said Gambhir after the eight-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.
On Narine, he added: "I need to start trusting Narine with the bat now. He is a quality bowler and the leader of the attack irrespective of the conditions.
"Narine can hit the ball big, we have a long batting line-up, and so we sent Sunil in at the top. He won't face many balls at No. 9 anyway."
Gambhir ended up making 72 off 49 balls while Narine smashed 37 off 18 balls to set up the big win.
KXIP captain Glenn Maxwell said he was not surprised with Narine batting the way he did.
"I thought we had a chance with 170, the ball was swinging and seaming. We had an extra quick. I was not surprised by Narine opening the batting, he has done it in the Big Bash," said Maxwell.
"They got away from us and that opening partnership basically took the wind out of us. One poor over where we lost three wickets, then we lost our way. We will have to regroup for Delhi," he added.
(With PTI Inputs)