Nitish Rana wants to bowl more for Knight Riders after scalping Virat Kohli’s big wicket

Nitish Rana of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) took the big wickets of AB de Villiers and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli in his only over to unsettle their run chase during their 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) match.

cricket Updated: Apr 09, 2018 14:36 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
IPL 2018,2018 Indian Premier League,Nitish Rana
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowler Nitish Rana (L) celebrates with teammates after taking the big wicket of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli during their 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.(AFP)

The interaction ended with Nitish Rana saying he hoped to bowl four overs regularly and maybe take four wickets in a match of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL). Neither may happen but Rana’s part-time off-breaks just got added to the already intimidating spin arsenal of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). (Knight Riders vs RCB highlights)

Rana’s show with the ball, and Sunil Narine landing a few roundhouse whacks with the bat against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), are something that will help KKR’s cause this season. (KKR vs RCB scorecard)

“I had nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I saw Piyush (Chawla) and Sunil Narine bowling from that end (Club House End) and found that the ball was gripping. So I knew if I hit the right areas, I thought could get rewards. At that stage it was important to get them out,” said Rana of his only over on Sunday.

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When new skipper Dinesh Karthick gave Rana the ball, RCB looked ready for a take-off at 121/2 in 14 overs. Rana was hit for a six but he then got AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli, the latter bowled by a delivery so full that it also had the IPL’s best batsman looking out of sorts.

“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.

Narine took it away

RCB’s Mandeep Singh, whose 18-ball 37 helped reach what he thought was a good total of 176/7, said it was Narine’s innings that made the difference.

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“He took the game away. Last year too, he had come up with some good ones against us. Narine’s innings did 50% of the job for KKR. In six-seven overs, he took the game away,” said Singh.

“He plays freely and that is why it is difficult to bowl to him. But after the match we were discussing that maybe we should have bowled fuller to Narine,” said Mandeep.

First Published: Apr 09, 2018 10:34 IST