Sunday evening at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, Kolkata Knight Riders surmounted a top-order collapse to defeat second-placed Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in the 2023 Indian Premier League. Kolkata lost their first three wickets during the powerplay, but captain Nitish Rana (57*, 44b, 6×4, 1×6) and Rinku Singh (54, 43b, 4×4, 3×6) put together a 99-run partnership to carry their team to victory.
Earlier, the Knight Riders’ disciplined bowling effort limited Chennai to 144 runs, with Shivam Dube leading the way with 48 runs off 34 deliveries. Sunil Narine was the best bowler and finished with a line of 2/15. With this victory, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Rajasthan Royals, the Kolkata Knight Riders, and the Punjab Kings all have 12 points and are only separated by net run rate. With 15 points, Chennai Super Kings remain in second position.
This IPL season, Rinku Singh has been the star player for Kolkata Knight Riders. JioCinema IPL expert Parthiv Patel heaped praise upon him after he continued his stellar form with yet another match-winning knock.
He has again demonstrated his versatility. Today, he batted during the powerplay, and his shot selection against Ravindra Jadeja demonstrated remarkable maturity. He previously batted in the lower order, but today he batted in the powerplay with only a few runs remaining. Typically, he has remained not out until the end of the game, and the most essential sign of a good batsman is helping his team win. Unfortunately, he was run out today, but he put KKR in a position from which they could not lose.”
After losing three wickets in rapid succession, the Knight Riders were in serious trouble. The 99-run partnership between Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh, however, enabled the team earn two crucial points. Brett Lee, an IPL expert, praised the significance of this partnership, stating,-
“On a pitch that was conducive to spin bowling, it was the slower balls that performed well, but they placed pressure on the bowlers. Now, they had to make Moeen Ali pay for his actions. The bowler is placed under extreme duress as a result of the initial assault, which consisted of off-target bowling. The fact that they were able to make it fall back in there is, I suppose, their asset tonight.”
He added, “They utilized their feet, had some shots on the ground, and weren’t hesitant to simply move the ball around when necessary. They took their singles and doubles, and when the boundary ball presented itself, they struck it for four or six.”