XtraTime Web Desk: After playing a match winning knock against Delhi Daredevils last night, Kolkata Knight Riders star batsman Nitish Rana said that he enjoys the challenge of playing under pressure situations.
“It was an important game for us since we had lost the last two. My performance is better under pressure. I love playing under pressure,” Rana said at the post-match conference.
Rana’s knock of 59 runs from just 35 balls helped the home side to reach 200 for 9 and later the bowlers bundled out Delhi for 129 runs.
Dinesh Karthik & co returned to their winning ways after two back to back defeats against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings. On being asked about his role for the team, Rana replied, “I don’t think I played such a huge role, everyone’s been assigned a certain responsibility, I just had to fulfill that, so did the others,” a modest Rana said.
Although Delhi lost three wickets inside as many overs, Glenn Maxwell (47) and Rishabh Pant (43) kept the Daredevils in the hunt with a fifty plus partnership before Kuldeep Yadav (3/32) triggered the collapse and Sunil Narine (3/18) wrapping the proceedings.
“Everyone has made a contribution in today’s game. Take for example, Kuldeep’s two wickets — Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell. Those wickets were very important at that point of time,” he said.
However, Rana’s knock was overshadowed by big-hitting Jamaican Andre Russell’s blistering 12-ball 41, studded with six sixes.
Crediting Russell for being the game-changer, DD bowling coach Sridharan Sriram felt his team leaked runs and a score of 170-180 would have been a “par score”.
“The way they got 200 was a bit too much on this wicket. I think 170-180 was a par score. That Russell blitz in the middle took the game away,” Sriram said.
“His innings overshadowed what Nitish Rana did. Had Russell got out earlier, we would have still got them under 160. Rana wasn’t going to be that dangerous compared to what Russell did,” he added.
Sriram rued the drop catch of Russell, off the bowling of Mohammed Shami when he was on seven.
As it turned out Shami bore the brunt of the dropped catch as Russell smashed all his six sixes against the India speedster.
Backing Shami fully, Sriram said, “He started well, his first couple of overs were very good. It would have been a completely different day for him if the catch was taken. He lost the plot for about 6-7 balls and that’s enough for you to have a bad game.