Sunil Narine becomes first IPL player with 100 wickets to score a century

Sunil Narine, on Tuesday (April 16) created history by scoring his maiden century in the Indian Premier League (IPL) against Rajasthan Royals. He became the first ever player in the history of the cash-rich league with 100 or more wickets to his name to score a ton. Narine has only played for Kolkata Knight Riders throughout his illustrious career in IPL.

Given the different kinds of roles he has played for the franchise, it is only fitting that Narine is the first-ever player in IPL who has a five-wicket haul to his name, has picked 100 or more scalps, has picked up a hattrick and also has a hundred to his name. It is pretty much unlikely for this record to break given the specialisation of roles these days in modern-day cricket.

For the unversed, Narine made his IPL debut back in 2012 and has featured in 168 matches so far accounting for 170 scalps. Having opened the innings on most occasions, he has batted in 102 innings and scored 1322 runs at an impeccable strike rate of 164.84 with five fifties and a century to his name.

Interestingly, after successfully doing the job in the first few years with the KKR, Narine didn’t open in the last few seasons before returning to open this season again. In IPL 2024 so far, Sunil Narine is the highest run-getter having amassed 276 runs at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 187.75. He has also picked up seven wickets in six outings and his economy of 6.87 is the best among KKR bowlers.

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Sunil Narine hundred goes in vain

Sunil Narine becomes first IPL player with 100 wickets to score a century
Photo by Icon Sport

Coming back to his maiden century, unfortunately, Narine’s efforts went in vain as Rajasthan Royals chased down a mammoth target of 224 runs thanks to Jos Buttler’s ton in response. Narine’s 109-run knock off 56 balls was laced with 13 fours and six sixes that helped KKR to post 223 runs for the loss of six wickets in their 20 overs.

In response, the Royals got off to a flyer with Yashasvi Jaiswal (19 off 9) and Riyan Parag (34 off 14) playing cameos. But soon they found themselves struggling at 121/6 in the 13th over of the innings. Jos Buttler was unbeaten but had faced very few deliveries until then and was struggling to time the ball too.

However, the English opener decided to hang around and got into the groove at the right time. He farmed more strike as the innings approached its death overs and Rovman Powell’s 26 off 13 balls also helped him immensely. The equation came down to 46 runs off 18 deliveries in the end and Buttler made sure to face most of the balls to smash 42 of those runs.

The Royals won the last over thriller even as Buttler also got to his ton in the 20th over of the innings. They also equalised their own record of the highest ever chase in IPL history. Alas! Narine’s heroics were overshadowed by Buttler but the former is already a part of special history in the cash-rich league.