The Knights suffered a setback at home, losing to the Sunrisers by 23 runs as centurion Harry Brook powered Sunrisers to a mighty total of 228 runs earlier in the evening.
Winning the toss, Skipper Rana chose to bowl, preferring to chase on a wicket which promised a lot of runs. Put into bat first, the Sunrisers got off to a good start of 46 off the first 4 overs as Englishman Brook looked in great nick.
Andre Russell who hadn't yet bowled a ball in this year's IPL, was then handed the ball and the big Jamaican bowled an over that immediately got us back into the thick of things removing Mayank Agarwal for 9 off the first ball of the over and then Rahul Tripathi for 9 off the final ball of the over.
However, the Sunrisers continued to make the best use of the conditions and Harry Brook stitched together twin 72 run stands, first with skipper Aiden Markram and then with Abhisekh Sharma which powered the visitors well over the 200 mark. Harry Brook who carried his bat through the innings brought up his 100 in the final over of the innings as the Sunrisers put up a mammoth 228 on the board.
Needing to chase down an IPL record total to win the game, the Knights didn't get off to the best of starts with Gurbaz going back to the pavilion in the very first over. Man in form, Venkatesh then came in as an impact sub, but departed shortly trying to force the issue against Marco Jensen and Narine fell the very next ball leaving the Knights teetering at 20/3 in 3.3 overs.
Skipper Rana came out with intent, firing on all cylinders punishing Sunrisers quickie Umran Malik for 28 runs in the 6th over as KKR put up 62 on the board at the end of the powerplay.
Jagadeesan gave the skipper good company in the other end, playing some fine shots to get to 36 of 21 balls. However, Markande got the better of him in 9th over to end the 62 run stand and put the pressure right back on the Knights. Andre Russell came into bat at no. 7 after having left the field earlier due to some discomfort, fell to Markande in the 11th over.
With the Knights still needing 132 runs, skipper Rana was joined by man of the moment Rinku Singh in the crease. The duo dug in to put together an entertaining 69 run stand that kept the Knights in the game. Skipper Rana brought up his first 50 of the season and looked in fine form. However, with the required run rate hovering at well over 17 RPO, he perished in the 17th over for an excellent 75 of 41 balls, trying to go for a maximum in a bid to keep up with the required rate. Rinku Singh found the boundary a few times in the final overs bringing up his 50 in the final over but the ask was far too huge this time round and the Knights finished with 205 for the loss of 7 wickets in 20 overs falling short by 23 runs.
Speaking at the post match conference, Skipper Rana spoke about how they believed they could achieve the target, even though it was starting to get slightly out of reach. He mentioned that Rinku had proven himself in the past and that the team never stopped believing and fighting until the end. Additionally, he praised Rinku Singh for his excellent form, as he scored his first 50 of the campaign.
Regarding Russel, our skipper confirmed that he isn't injured but experienced a cramp due to the hot weather in Kolkata. He expressed full confidence that Andre will start delivering for the team.
He also mentioned that as a batting unit, they believe that any target is chaseable. The players have been supporting each other and performing well, but chasing 230 required something extraordinary to happen.
Rana showed his unwavering support for the bowling unit by stating that he has full faith in their abilities. He believes that they possess all the necessary skills and potential to take crucial wickets and restrict the opposition's scoring. He is confident that the bowling unit can make significant contributions to the team's success and is committed to backing them fully.
Despite the loss, the Knights remain in 4th spot in the TATA IPL table and will now travel to face Mumbai on Sunday, the 16th of April.