Best Bowling Performances by Sunil Narine in IPL History

Sunil Narine made his IPL debut in 2011 for the Kolkata Knight Riders, and right from the start, he looked apart from the crowd. Reason: He was unorthodox. His bowling action was a little different from that of the orthodox spinners. His line and length were vastly different.

This made him unreadable, and he saw a rapid rise into a core member of the Knight Riders. So much so that he was never let go. In 2024, he will be returning for his 14th season with the franchise. In online IPL betting, his performance will again be crucial for his team. 

In this article, we will take a look at his five best bowling figures for KKR, where he just proved his credentials as someone who will go farther down the line than most of his contemporaries.

What Are the Five Best Bowling Performances by Sunil Narine in the IPL?

We will now see five of his top bowling performances where he single-handedly won KKR the match.

5/19 vs. Kings XI Punjab (IPL 2012): 

His best bowling spell in IPL history, Narine, became a sensation that day in front of his home crowd.

  • Punjab had batted first at Eden Gardens, thinking that the pitch would initially favor the batters. Nevertheless, Narine proved them wrong.
  • He first removed dangerman Adam Gilchrist in his very first over and went on to get the wicket of Shaun Marsh in his very next over.
  • His last two overs saw three wickets. This included a brilliant ball to Praveen Kumar, who was left stunned by the delivery.
  • This wonderful bowling ensured KKR chased a target of 135.
  • Unfortunately, the batters had an off day, and the home side went on to lose the match by 2 runs on a slow wicket.

13/4 vs. Delhi Daredevils (IPL 2013): 

His second-best bowling figure in the IPL came on the very first day of the 2013 season.

  • Delhi had batted first and lost the wicket of opener Unukt Chand off the first ball.
  • They never really recovered from this point, with Narine striking at regular intervals.
  • He removed dangerman David Warner for 21 and then accounted for Irfan Pathan, Andre Russell, and Ashish Nehra in his second spell.
  • KKR won the match by six wickets as they chased down a paltry target of 129 with ease.

15/4 vs. Mumbai Indians (IPL 2012): 

At Wankhede Stadium, Narine helped KKR reduce their huge win-loss gap against Mumbai Indians with his third-best IPL figures.

  • KKR had batted first on a slow pitch at Wankhede and did well to reach a score of 140/7.
  • The total was challenging, and Mumbai completely overlooked the presence of this unorthodox customer.
  • The home side looked set for the long haul, with openers giving them a good start.
  • But as soon as the ball went to Narine, the match changed.
  • He began by removing two big wickets: Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar.
  • And then he dismissed Harbhajan Singh and RP Singh to silence the home crowd.
  • KKR went on to register one of their rarest wins against Mumbai, and that too at Wankhede, beating them by 32 runs.

19/4 vs. Kings XI Punjab (IPL 2015): 

Three years later, Narine brought his ‘A’ game again against Kings XI Punjab at Eden Gardens.

  • It was one of the most thrilling games of the season, with KKR winning the match by just one wicket.
  • And it was Narine who made it possible, as he went to register the wickets of all top-order batters like Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha, and Glenn Maxwell.
  • Punjab were restricted to 183/5, which KKR chased down thanks to the half century from Andre Russell.

 20/4 vs. Mumbai Indians (IPL 2014): 

Two years after his performance at Wankhede, Narine again made Mumbai fans distraught, this time in the opening game of the 2014 season in Abu Dhabi:

  • KKR had batted first and posted a decent total of 164 runs on the board.
  • Now, the total needed some defending with the bigwigs in the Mumbai line-up.
  • Narine got into business, first removing Michael Hussey; however, he went wicketless in his first spell hereafter.
  • Nevertheless, with the game hanging in balance, Gambhir again trusted him, and he struck, removing a dangerous Ambati Rayudu with Mumbai still needing 51 off 24 balls. 
  • Then came the wickets of Corey Anderson and Harbhajan Singh who were out clean-bowled.
  • In a space of a few balls, he had pushed the opposition out of the match, with KKR winning the match by 41 runs.

Final Thoughts:

There is no doubt that Sunil Narine became world-classss bowler thanks to his captain Gautam Gambhir who deployed him effectively. And it was for this reason that his best bowling performances all came before 2017. This was the year Gambhir parted ways with the franchise, and Narine hasn’t looked the same person ever since.

Under Gambhir, he was usually bowled in two spells: in the first five overs, where he accounted for top-order wickets, and in the last five, where he would derail the opposition innings with a flurry of wickets.

Today, Narine continues to play for KKR but faces severe challenges with the emergence of lots of unconventional spinners from India and abroad. Back then, he was the only one, and the batters failed to read him. But now, teams are learning how to tackle him.

To stay relevant, he will have to evolve. Can he turn back the clock with such performances in 2024? Only time will tell.

Related Articles

Back to top button