'He is a real find for us': Morgan hails KKR youngster with 'fantastic attitude', credits him for filling in for Russell
- Venkatesh Iyer scored his second IPL half-century on Friday, hitting 67 off 49 balls with 9 fours and a six.
Kolkata Knight Riders opener Venkatesh Iyer scored his second IPL half-century on Friday while batting against Punjab Kings in Dubai. His team may have lost the game by five wickets but the youngster from Madhya Pradesh stole the show for his all-round performance.
Opening the KKR innings, Iyer slammed a 49-ball 67, including 9 boundaries and a six. His brilliant innings helped his team set a challenging target of 166 runs for PBKS to chase. Later, he showed his brilliance with the ball as well. He was given to bowl in the final over where he bagged the prized wicket of opponent captain KL Rahul. Had Rahul Tripathi not dropped Shahrukh Khan on 16, which went for a six, it would have been two in two for the youngster.
After the defeat, KKR captain Eoin Morgan accepted the fact that poor fielding and dropped catches cost them the game. However, he heaped praise on Iyer for his outstanding contribution.
"He (Venkatesh Iyer) is (some player). He's a real find for us, has been with us the whole campaign and we have watched him in practice. Above all, his attitude is fantastic for a guy that plays fearlessly as he does with the bat. He takes a lot of responsibility with the ball," Morgan told broadcasters after the game.
"Dre Russ leaves a huge gap in the all-rounder position for us but to have someone come in and contribute is really outstanding. We have played some great cricket in the second half and have some positives to take away from tonight as well. Two more games to go, we will fight hard and hopefully get a couple of good results and be in the playoffs," he added.
Punjab Kings needed 24 runs in the last three overs and Rahul and Shahrukh Khan helped the side register a win over KKR despite a wobble in the last over. The Morgan-led side had come back into the game but Rahul's calm and composed knock helped Punjab Kings to walk away with two points.