IPL 2018: Nitish Rana Emerges as Unlikely All-rounder For KKR

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 9, 2018, 12:14 PM IST
IPL 2018: Nitish Rana Emerges as Unlikely All-rounder For KKR

Nitish Rana (BCCI Photo)

As Kolkata Knight Riders got off to a winning start in the eleventh edition of the IPL, with a comfortable four wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore, they had one man to thank for a special performance.

Nitish Rana, with bat and ball, proved to be a vital component of RCB’s victory.

In RCB’s inning’s Dinesh Karthik opted to use the unknown spin of the youngster, with it paying rich dividends: Rana winkled out both Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers off successive balls.

This was particularly notable, given that Rana had never taken more than a solitary wicket in a T20 before.

It completely halted RCB’s momentum: Up until AB’s wicket, RCB were going at 8.96 RPO. From AB’s wicket onwards, they managed 49/5 in 5.4 overs at a run rate of just 8.65 RPO.

With bat in hand, Rana compiled a cool 34 off 25 forging a crucial 55-run stand with his skipper, Dinesh Karthik for the 4th wicket. Despite the rollicking start Narine gave KKR, a victory was far from certain when the 3rd wicket fell for 83 in the 8th over.

This was Rana’s first IPL 30-plus score since his 62* (34) for MI vs KXIP, IPL 2017. There were 6 intervening IPL innings between 30-plus scores.

Meanwhile Kohli said that he felt his team were short by 10-15 runs.

“I think we were 15 short with the bat. I played too many dot balls and couldn’t get any momentum going. Me and AB getting out in 2 balls to a part-timer was a game-changing event. Sunil took the game away from us with the way he batted. If you are giving 13 an over in the first overs on that sort of a wicket, it’s very difficult to comeback. It’s difficult for the spinners to bowl on this pitch, the fast bowlers get some purchase and you can score runs as well. It has become a really good cricket wicket over the last couple of years. We made a pretty good game out of it, to drag it till the 19th over and take those wickets was a big positive,” the RCB skipper said.

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First Published: April 9, 2018, 12:14 PM IST

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