XtraTime Web Desk: Two-time Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders started their IPL season 11 campaign with a bang as they beat batting powerhouse Royal Challengers Bangalore with an ease by four wickets at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata last night.
Young all-rounder Nitish Rana was the key player for the home side as he played the most vital role with both bat and ball against RCB.
At one stage, RCB were on 121/4 in 14 overs with skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers still at the crease. KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik brought Rana into the attack, which paid rich dividends as he took back to back wickets of AB de Villiers & Virat Kohli. Before this Rana didn’t get more than a wicket in a T20 game. The wickets of AB and Virat broke RCB’s momentum. After their departure RCB managed to score only 49 runs and lost 5 wickets in the remaining 5.4 overs.
While batting, Rana again played a gem of a knock of 34 runs from just 25 deliveries and shared a crucial 55-run partnership with skipper Dinesh Karthik for the 4th wicket.
On being asked about getting back to back wickets of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, Rana said, “I do bowl at the domestic level in Delhi. Here too, I bowled in a practice game and did well. That’s when Dinesh told me to be ready. I was backing myself and got lucky,” said Rana, after KKR’s four-wicket win with seven balls to spare.
Rana then slipped into his role as a specialist batsman and along with Karthik took KKR to the verge of victory. “I can bat anywhere and am okay with the pressure of living up to expectation. Actually, a little pressure helps your batting,” said Rana.