Kolkata Knight Riders won by 5 wickets against Punjab Kings in the 53rd Match of the ongoing IPL 2023 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Punjab Kings won the toss and opted to bat. They posted a decent total of 179 runs in 20 overs, courtesy of Shikhar Dhawan’s fifty. Varun Chakravarthy picked up 3 for 26 as well.
While chasing, Kolkata Knight Riders got off to a good start with Nitish Rana scoring a fifty and Andre Russell playing a quickfire knock. Later, Rinku Singh hit a quick 21* off 10 and sealed the deal for his side.
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Here is what the captains and the player of the match said after the game:
Andre Russell, Player of the Match said as quoted by Cricbuzz: We already thought about it, the ball was gripping so we just wanted to stick it out. They miss their lengths and we could swing it around. Needing 30 off the final two, it was very gettable. I flicked one into the stands without really swinging at it. And that six over point put the icing on the cake. I wanted to finish the game off, but we have a finisher this year in Rinku. (On Rinku) He had told me what if the ball beats you, should we go for the run? I said for sure, I have faith in him to finish it last ball. I get goosebumps seeing him doing what he’s been doing. I have company at the back end, he soaks the pressure off and he’s been here for years now, a really hard-working guy. He’s very funny outside the field, I try to stay as close to him while we are training. Feeling good, now!!
Nitish Rana said as quoted by Cricbuzz: When I was batting, I wanted to hold one end. Venky had a problem with his ankle so we were trying to get one big over here and there. 10 matches have gone, we were all waiting for that one Russell innings to come. He was one innings away, I kept backing him saying you have done a lot, and you will 100% win us a game. This pitch was a feel of home advantage as well. Our bowlers bowled badly at the death, I was angry that we conceded that many because this was a 160-165 run wicket. (On Rinku) I just keep telling him, believe in yourself because what you have achieved is something not many people ever will. When he was batting, the whole crowd was chanting ‘Rinku, Rinku’. That is what he has earned this year. I’ve been at this franchise for many years now, I’m used to the Eden crowd screaming ‘Russell, Russell’ but to hear them shout ‘Rinku, Rinku’ makes me feel very happy and proud. That’s the respect he has earned this season.
Rinku Singh said as quoted by Cricbuzz: I didn’t think about the last ball. Even when I hit those five sixes, I hadn’t thought much. I was playing on the merit of the ball. I had the belief in me that I could finish the game. I have got used to it, sometimes I bat at 5, sometimes at 6, 7, I practice that way. There is no particular way I like to celebrate.
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Shikhar Dhawan said as quoted by Cricbuzz: Feels bad, of course not feeling great, we lost the match. Not an easy track to bat on, felt that we had a good total. In the end, they played well. It was a great effort from Arshdeep, the way he has bounced back from the last game. All credit to him that he took the game to the last ball. I feel we don’t have a good off-spinner, that is where we are leaking a bit of runs when left-handers come in. This wicket was offering turn as well, that is where we took the hit.