Kolkata Knight Riders wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik heaped praise on teammate Nitish Rana for playing a valuable knock during the chase of 116 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Dubai.

Rana came to bat after KKR were reduced to 38 for 2 in the seventh over. He accompanied Shubman Gill at the crease who went on to score 57 off 51 balls. While Gill steered the ship with his mighty shots, Rana played the second fiddle to his batting partner. The latter scored 25 off 33 deliveries, including 3 boundaries, as Kolkata defeated Hyderabad by six wickets to keep their play-off hope alive.

IPL 2021 KKR vs SRH Highlights

Speaking with the broadcasters at the post-match show, Karthik lauded the way Rana took his time and anchored the innings even after Gill lost his wicket.

“I would give a lot of credit to Rana; he was playing second fiddle to Shubman. He realized that there was no point matching him shot for shot. He took his time and then hit a couple of big hits. Fingers crossed for the next game,” Karthik said.

“I thought it was a real good game of cricket. At half time I knew it would be a tricky chase because the pitch was difficult. I was practicing a lot when I was doing commentary. It was just one of those days where I got lucky. This is not a game where you take the game deep. You create opportunities by using the crease and you play your shots,” he added.

KKR needed 116 to win in the 20 overs but SRH bowlers made sure the Eoin Morgan-led side had to fight it out for the win. SRH battled hard to try and get a win, but the target was always too small. In the end, skipper Morgan and Dinesh Karthik ensured KKR doesn’t suffer any hiccups as the side chased down the target with two balls to spare.

Earlier, a spirited bowling performance by KKR restricted SRH to 115/8. Except for skipper Kane Williamson and Abdul Samad, no SRH batsmen looked comfortable on the crease as KKR seized control over a must-win game.

(With Agency Inputs)

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