STAR WARS: It’s Narine v Billings

Sam Billings, on Saturday, set the platform for Delhi Daredevils against Kings XI Punjab with a 36-ball half-century. He’d be under pressure to score thick and fast because of his team’s inexperienced middle order. And, Narine, if Billings faces him early, will be his biggest impediment.

48 runs in 69 games, strike-rate of 85.7, and a best score of 13. Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t care two hoots about Sunil Narine’s IPL batting numbers when it asked him to open against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), chasing 171.

Of course, it might have seen him open for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League and for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). But KKR wouldn’t have expected him to be hugely responsible for its highest Powerplay score. He took apart Varun Aaron, scoring 16 off his first three balls, before getting out in the fourth delivery.

Narine failed as an opener in the next game against Sunrisers Hyderabad. But now, teams know he can torment them in both Powerplays of the game. With the willow, he’s adventurous; but to the batters, he’s a sure shot buzz kill. Hitherto, he’s bowled 43 dot balls and has given away less than six runs per over.

Sam Billings, on Saturday, set the platform for Delhi Daredevils against Kings XI Punjab with a 36-ball half-century. He’d be under pressure to score thick and fast because of his team’s inexperienced middle order. And, Narine, if Billings faces him early, will be his biggest impediment.