Kolkata Knight Riders paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile on Wednesday admitted that although 129 wouldn’t sound like a big target, it wasn’t going to be an easy one to chase down as well, given the nature of the wicket, thus justifying his side’s strategy in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 eliminator to go for the kill right from ball one for the reduced 48-run target.
t was an impressive show from the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers on Wednesday as the former champions restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad for a paltry 128 before chasing down the reduced target in a rain-marred eliminator.
“Well, 130 was a par score but it was a difficult wicket definitely. The cross-seam was holding up and the slower ones were getting a little bit of grip,” Coulter-Nile told the media at an interaction after the match. “So, it was tough to play and once the weather came in, it got a lot easy to bat. I think the balls skidding on, and once the ball’s wet it actually skidded through. There wasn’t a lot of turn or anything like that so I thought maybe 140… Ten runs make a lot of difference.”
Rain played spoilsport, as a second spell of showers ensured that Kolkata wouldn’t have to bat for 20 overs and chase down a reduced target. However, they were in for a bit of scare, losing three wickets in the space of six deliveries, which ignited a bit of hope in the Sunrisers Hyderabad camp. The required rate was just eight runs per over, but the Knights seemed desperate to finish things off quickly, thus ending up throwing away wickets.
“It wasn’t a big target but on that wicket you really never know. You got 10 wickets in hand, there’s six overs, there’s no point to defend. If the top six batsmen go hard and one of them comes off then you win the game. So, I think we batted well. Ofcourse the run-out was a bit silly but everything else just fine,” he added.
Nathan Coulter-Nile had been the most successful bowler for Kolkata knight Riders as he finished with three wickets, including that of the dangerous Kane Williamson. He bowled the penultimate over of Sunrisers Hyderabad innings, and gave away just three runs while sending pack Vijay Shankar and Chris Jordan. “Today was quite hard and cross-seamers into the wicket and that was communicated through the bowlers Umesh (Yadav) and Boultie (Trent Boult) told me. I think I bowled the seventh or eighth over and they said ‘Look, cross-seamers into the wicket, throw them hard’ and you really rely on your teammates to give you some pointers on what to do…,” he said.