Kolkata Knight Riders registered a comfortable 7-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday. Chasing a target of 161 runs, this was KKR’s second win on the trot that took them to top of the points table.
Middle–order batsman Nitish Rana, who has been in sublime form for KKR, bagged man-of-the-match award. Rana scalped two wickets and scored and unbeaten 35 runs.
After the match Nitish said, “I know that my job is to defend runs and that’s what I was striving for. I bowl regularly in domestic cricket. I backed myself, and I’m lucky to be MoM in both these last two games. This is a big platform and we don’t get loose balls regularly. The ones we get have to be converted into boundaries. That’s why I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t able to put some of them away. Playing for India is at the back of my mind, but right now my focus is to do my best.”
KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik expressed his joy over winning two back-to-back matches, but also maintained that his side needs to work on certain areas.
After the match, he said, “Feels good to get two wins on the trot. Slowly things are going in a good direction. I just feel that the wrist-spinners are a little harder to pick. So it makes sense to go with spinners at the top. Spinners did a good job for us. The way Robin batted was fantastic. He set the tone for us. Nitish is getting used to that role where he’s coming not out which is good to see. Fielding could be better, death bowling could be better. If you want me to be harsh, even fast bowlers could be better. Consistency is something we’re looking at as a team. Rana is a good player. Last year he did well for MI. And now he’s come to KKR. He’s got a couple of rough ones, got a couple of good catches taken off him. His arm is slightly higher than Kedar Jadhav but he’s done a good job for us.”
Piyush Chawla’s contribution in the match was immense too. The leg-spinner returned with figures of 1/18 in his four overs. Talking about bowling in the powerplay overs, Chawla said, “It is not easy to bowl in the powerplay. But at the moment, I am really enjoying it. As a leg-spinner, I always look to take wickets. But, when the situation demands, you have to bowl defensively. I always try to take wickets. We are fortunate enough to have 3 quality spinners and if you bowl well in tandem, you can restrict the teams under 150-160.”