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Kolkata Knight Riders' Sunil Narine in action as Lucknow Super Giants' wicktkeeper and captain KL Rahul watches during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

Lucknow: Red-hot Sunil Narine smashed 81 off 39 balls to help Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Lucknow Super Giants by 98 runs and take top spot in IPL table on Sunday.

Narine’s blitz, laced with six fours and seven sixes, guided Kolkata to 235-6 after they were invited to bat first in Lucknow’s final home game.

Two-time champions Kolkata bowled out Lucknow for 137 in 16.1 overs for their eighth win in 11 matches and almost guaranteed a play-off berth. Second-placed Rajasthan Royals have played one match fewer.

In the first game of the day, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja starred with bat and ball to help holders Chennai Super Kings climb to third in the table with a 28-run win over Punjab Kings.

The top four teams will make the play-offs with the final on May 26 in Chennai.

Narine, who has impressed after being promoted to opener by Kolkata this season, led their batting charge in a 61-run first-wicket stand with Phil Salt.

Lucknow’s Naveen-ul-Haq took three wickets to hurt KKR but skipper Shreyas Iyer, who made 23, and Ramandeep Singh, who hit a six-ball 25 not out, helped the team finish on a high.

Ramandeep returned to make an impact in the field as he took a stunning catch to dismiss Arshin Kulkarni when he ran back 21 metres to dive and pouch the ball off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.

Marcus Stoinis hit 36 but the rest of the batting fell flat as spinner Varun Chakravarthy and fast bowler Harshit Rana took three wickets each.

Andre Russell took two wickets and Narine returned figures of 1-22.