RANA & RINKU GUIDE THE KNIGHTS TO A HISTORIC WIN OVER CSK | CSK V KKR | TATA IPL 2023
A magnificent 99 run partnership between men in form Rinku Singh and Skipper Nitish Rana saw the Knights overcome CSK’s tricky target of 145 with 9 balls to spare at the Chepauk Stadium. The win which is KKR’s first at the Chepauk Stadium after the 2012 Finals keeps the Knights in the race for a place in the playoffs.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat earlier the Kings got off to a brisk start before Varun Chakravarthy (2-36) and Sunil Narine (2-15) put the brakes on their momentum reducing them to 72-5 in the 11th over. Pacers Harshit Rana and Vaibhav Arora also continued to impress with the latter particularly coming up clutch in the death overs and capturing the prized wicket of Ravindra Jadeja in the final over and then not allowing MS Dhoni to end the innings with a flourish. The Kings posted a total of 144 on the board which looked just about par on a wicket that was assisting the spinners.
In response, the Knights lost Gurbaz, Roy and Venkatesh early before Rinku and Rana took charge. The southpaws got together with the scoreboard reading 33/3 after 4.3 overs with the Kings on top and their 50000+ crowd rallying them on. But Rinku and Rana had other plans on the night as they absorbed the pressure admirably and stitched together a partnership that took the game away from the hosts. The duo were particularly impressive on how they took on the CSK spinners, giving them no wickets and scoring runs at a brisk rate to never give them a sniff in the game. The partnership of 99 runs was broken only by a direct hit from Moeen Ali as Rinku Singh fell short of his crease and returned to the pavilion for another well made fifty. Skipper Rana and Russell then ensured there were no more hiccups with the former top scoring on the night with a well made 57* of 44 balls.
Speaking after the match, Skipper Rana credited all 3 departments for raising their game in this match. He particularly singled out Coach Pandit’s decision to use the heavy roller at the innings break which proved to be a gamechanger. Skipper Rana also added that the conversation between him and Rinku was that they had to hold fort at one end in order to chase the score down.
Rinku Singh was awarded the Man of the Match for his 54 of 43 balls and said that when he joined Skipper Rana at the crease, the latter told him that this is a tough wicket to score runs and they had to be cautious. Rinku said that his experience in first class cricket helped him in this game as he is used to batting at no. 5 in such slow wickets where scoring can be difficult.
With this memorable win on the road, the Knights go upto 6th in the table and will next host the Lucknow SuperGiants at the Eden Gardens on Saturday in the final league game of the season.