IPL 2023: Rinku and Russell lead KKR to victory
PBKS vs. KKR: Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Punjab Kings by five wickets in a last-ball IPL thriller thanks to half-century contributions from captain Nitish Rana (51 off 38 balls), middle-order West Indian batsman Andre Russell (42) and back-end player Rinku Singh (21 not out).
Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Punjab Kings
As Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Punjab Kings by five wickets on Monday to maintain their chances of making the IPL play-offs, Rinku Singh added another uplifting chapter to his reputation as a “finisher” with a last-ball boundary.
Rinku Singh maintained his reputation as a “finisher”
Rinku finished the game with a 10-ball-21 not out as KKR put on a complete “RRR” achievement thanks to skipper Nitish Rana’s fifty and Andre Russell adding muscle to the 180-run chase.
KKR moved up to fifth place
After defeating Punjab Kings by five wickets on Monday at the Eden Gardens in a game that had to be won, KKR moved up to fifth place.
With 10 points so far in the competition, Kolkata Knight Riders have now joined four other teams: Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, and Punjab Kings. But RCB and MI have only played 10 games so far, compared to RR, PBKS, and KKR who have played 11 games.
Both skippers took the lead
Although both skippers took the lead, Nitish Rana emerged victorious. After moving up the order to No. 3, Rana boosted KKR’s chances of victory with a masterful 51 off 38 balls. Rana started by hitting Liam Livingstone for two fours and one six with more than 100 runs needed off the final 10 overs.
Varun leads the way with a 3-wicket haul
Shikhar Dhawan, the captain of Punjab, chose to bat first after winning the toss, and the KKR spinners did well to hold the opposition to 179/7 on a slow Eden pitch.
Varun Chakravarthy once again brilliantly led their bowling department, taking 3/26 as KKR put on a clean bowling performance to restrict PBKS to a below-par 179 for seven.
Rana & Russell launch an attack on Eden Gardens
Rana’s outstanding performance as the No. 3 batsman for KKR in response, where he established the foundation with a 38-ball 51 (6×4, 1×6), was the highlight of the team’s batting display.
Rana put together a crucial fifty-plus stand with Venkatesh Iyer (11) on a wicket where the oddball was gripping and batters had trouble finding their timings before Andre Russell and Rinku Singh put an end to it.
Russell went off against Sam Curran in a 20-run over, smoking him for three sixes in four balls, changing the equation in favor of KKR, who needed six off the final over and needed 56 off 28 balls after Rana became Rahul Chahar’s second victim.
Rinku’s brilliant finish for KKR
Arshdeep Singh, a specialist in death over, however, who had six to defend, brought it home with four out of his first four balls. In recent times, Arshedeep has frequently failed to nail his Yorkers.
More drama ensued when Russell was run out in the penultimate ball, but Rinku Singh (21 not out; 10b) calmly came to KKR’s aid once more, securing the victory with a boundary off the final ball.
A 54-run partnership from 26 balls was shared by Russell and Rinku, winning the game.
With five teams locked in a mid-table race for the playoffs with 10 points, KKR (-0.079) overtook RCB (-0.209) thanks to their second consecutive victory.