Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Dinesh Karthik heaped praises on Sunil Narine after he had dismissed in-form Chennai Super Kings batsman Shane Watson in their 10-run win over Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

One of the mainstays in the team, Narine has failed to replicate his usual brilliance on the field in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Criticism has thus flown in from all corners for the West Indian all-rounder. However, the KKR skipper has asked to back Narine.

“There are some key players for every team. Narine is one for us. Least we can do is back him. 2-3 poor games, doesn’t matter,” said Karthik in the post-match presentation.

Opener Rahul Tripathi with his knock of 81 runs was the star of the night. Despite a middle-order collapse, Tripathi’s knock helped Kolkata in posting 167 on the board. His effort with the bat was followed by the KKR bowlers as they restricted CSK to 157/5.

“Good to see Tripathi do the job at the top. Good thing about Russ is he’s very versatile. He can bat slightly up, slightly down. Our batting is very fluid. I started at three, today I batted at seven. The way those guys batted at the start, they batted very well,” he added.

Electing to bat first for the first time since 2015, KKR were off to a commendable start despite losing some early wickets. In-form Gill (11 off 12) was the first one to depart at 37/1 followed by Nitish Rana (9) at 87/2.

However, with Tripathi at the middle, Kolkata looked destined for a big score as they crossed the 100-run mark in the 12th over. Tripathi slammed eight fours and three maximums until Bravo came in and finally dismissed Tripathi in the 17th over with the help of Shane Watson.