The early onslaught
Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn made short work of a 159-run target, with an aggressive 105-run opening stand, that helped Kolkata thrash Bangalore by six wickets, with 29 balls to spare, in the Indian Twenty20 competition at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on May 7.
Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers failed to impress after Bangalore was put in. It was Travis Head and Mandeep Singh that helped them post 158, which they hoped would be enough to defend. However, Kolkata's openers tore their bowlers apart, with Lynn, back from injury, smashing Aniket Choudhary for two fours and a six in the first over itself. The second over from Samuel Badree was eventless, before Lynn clubbed Yuzvendra Chahal for three boundaries in the third. Narine, till then, was latent.
He came alive in the fourth over by hammering Badree for three sixes and a four. That was the start of an awe-inspiring display, as Narine tore into Sreenath Aravind, smashing him for four sixes and a six, in the fifth over, to record the fastest fifty in the history of the tournament. Lynn responded with two sixes and a four in the next over, after which Narine departed for a 17-ball 54. Lynn fell an over later for a 22-ball 50. Narine scored 28 runs through the long-off region, including three sixes. The duo had laid a platform that helped Kolkata cruise to victory.
What they said
"I haven't seen such a partnership. Unbelievable effort. You don't expect people to get 105 in 6 overs."
Gautam Gambhir on the match-winning stand
Pant, Samson decimate Gujarat
A 143-run stand for the second wicket, between Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, helped Delhi gun down a massive 209-run target to end Gujarat's campaign, comfortably beating them by seven wickets at Feroz Shah Kotla on May 4.
Only once had a team chased more than 209 to win a match in the tournament and it took the youngest Delhi pair to pull of the feat with 15 balls to spare. Delhi, with just three wins off nine matches before the encounter, needed to score over 10 from the onset. Samson and Pant then took charge, with Pant slamming a six on the up over cover in the fourth over against Basil Thampi, Samson hit another in the same over. Pradeep Sangwan was then clubbed, by Pant, for 16 off the first three balls in the next over. The early onslaught helped Delhi breach 50 inside the fifth over. The duo thumped 90 runs off the next six overs. Samson eventually fell in the 14th over, for a 31-ball 61, after smashing seven sixes. Pant responded with a six and a four to bring the asking rate below run-a-ball, before he fell three runs shy of becoming the tournaments youngest centurion.
What they said:
"We always thought if we get a bad ball, we'll utilise it. If we get three good balls, we'll go for sixes."
Rishabh Pant on his strategy
Amla-Marsh' heroics go in vain
Punjab failed to capitalise on a 125-run stand for the second wicket between Hashim Amla and Shaun Marsh and lost to Gujarat by six wickets at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Chandigarh on May 7.
The Amla-Marsh combine dropped anchor after they lost opener Martin Guptill early. Amla was the more aggressive of the two and switched gears against Pradeep Sangwan in the third over with consecutive fours. He used his supple wrists and crisp drives to mainly score in front of square, bringing up his half-century off 35 balls. His partnership of 125 with Marsh set the tone for a brisk finish, which included 66 runs off the last five overs. Amla finally fell for a 60-ball 104. Punjab's bowlers however failed to contain Dwayne Smith, who smashed 74 off 39, to guide Gujarat to victory.
What they said:
"189 was enough, the bowlers and fielders let us down. We dropped three crucial catches. We haven't won a heap of games in a row. We've had to scrap. Unfortunately, we'll lose Hashim and David Miller now, and we'll have to look deep in our reserves and regroup."
Glenn Maxwell on the loss
Carlyle Laurie is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo