In a last-ball IPL drama, Kolkata Knight Riders upset Punjab Kings by five wickets thanks to kipper Nitish Rana’s half-century, middle-order West Indian Andre Russell, and back-end performer Rinku Singh. Chasing 180 for victory, KKR posted a total of 182/5, with Russell playing a crucial part by hitting three sixes in Sam Curran’s 19th overs to help his team go closer to the mark.
KKR won the game after Rinku hit a four off the final ball of the innings. Earlier, KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy took three wickets for 26 runs, but Punjab Kings still managed a valiant 179/7 with captain Shikhar Dhawan reaching a half-century.
Dhawan (57 off 47 balls) also contributed to a 53-run partnership with wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma (21), which helped later-order hitters build a solid platform for a respectable total.
Russell and Rinku in the last over
Andre Russell was named as the man of the match for his excellent cameo with the bat. He scored 23 balls 42 consisting of 3 sixes and 3 fours with a strike rate of 182. He was run out on the second last ball of the innings with 2 needed off 2 balls.
When Russell was at the crease, it seemed that the KKR would cruise towards a victory.
They planned to go for the run if Russell misses the ball. Russell said, “He (Rinku) 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.”
With the run out of Russell, the match was even poised on the last ball. But Rinku Singh, who knows no nerves, went on to score a boundary to register yet another successful run chase for KKR.
While others seemed concerned about the result, the Jamaican all-rounder had the confidence in young Rinku to take KKR over the line. He praised the youngster and said that he soaks in the pressure really well. He called Rinku a hard working guy.
“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,” the big Jamican concluded.