Narine’s 15-ball 50 equals IPL record

MOHALI, India (AP) Sunil Narine smashed a half-century off only 15 balls to equal the fastest 50 in the Indian Premier League as Kolkata Knight Riders demolished Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets on Sunday.

Narine hit West Indies teammate Samuel Badree for three successive sixes and a four in the fourth over which cost the leg-spinner 25 runs.

Knight Riders have 16 points and are second behind Mumbai Indians. Royal Challengers are last with only five points.

Also, Gujarat Lions hurt Kings XI Punjab’s chances of making it to the playoffs with a six-wicket win at Mohali as Hashim Amla’s second century of the season narrowly went in vain.

Kings XI have 10 points with three matches to go, while Gujarat Lions are in the bottom half with eight points.

Narine hit an explosive 54 off 17 balls – with six fours and four sixes – and carried Knight Riders to a staggering 105-1 in just six overs – the most runs ever scored in a Twenty20 batting powerplay.

Chris Lynn didn’t look like someone who had missed nearly a month of IPL with a left-shoulder injury and smashed 50 off 22 balls as Knight Riders cruised to 159-4 in 15.1 overs in Bangalore.

Earlier, Royal Challengers’ `Big Three’ – Chris Gayle, captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers – yet again flopped and combined for only 15 runs in a another below-par total of 158-6.

Narine smashed left-arm seamer Sreenath Aravind for three fours in a row before equaling Yousuf Pathan’s 2014 record of a 15-ball 50 by lofting the same bowler over long-on for a six.

Lynn then blasted leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for 20 runs in the sixth over to raise Knight Riders’ century. Narine was finally caught behind off Aniket Choudhary but his knock put the result beyond any doubt.

”I’m surprised too,” Narine said. ”Lynn just said keep your eyes on the ball, keep focused and swing at it. I try to keep it simple.”

Lynn was bowled by Pawan Negi in the eighth over as the Australian tried to pull the spinner but missed the delivery.

Earlier, Gayle was out for zero in his 100th IPL appearance when Umesh Yadev found the leading edge of the left-hander.

Kohli fell lbw to Yadev’s leg-cutter only a ball after he was dropped at mid-off by Piyush Chawla while De Villiers was bowled round his legs by Narine as the South African went for a sweep.

Travis Head (75 not out) and Mandeep Singh (52) rebuilt the innings with a 71-run fourth wicket stand.

At Kings XI’s home ground in Mohali, Amla continued his fine form to score 104 off 60 balls, hitting eight fours and five sixes in what looked to be a reasonable total of 189-3.

Amla and Shaun Marsh (58) anchored the innings with a 125-run second-wicket stand off 89 balls after Martin Guptill fell in the first over.

Amla raised his century in the last over when he drove the most expensive bowler of the innings, Basil Thampi (1-48), over extra cover for a six before falling lbw to the seamer on the next ball.

In reply, Dwayne Smith profited from two dropped catches to carry the run-chase as Gujarat Lions reached 192-4 in 19.4 overs.

Smith smashed eight fours and four sixes and was let off on 42 and 51. He put the chase firmly on track with a 91-run first-wicket stand with Ishan Kishan (29) off 56 deliveries before holing out in the deep.

Captain Suresh Raina (39) and Dinesh Karthik (35 not out) also made useful contributions as Gujarat Lions won with two balls to spare.