‘It is best innings of my life’: KKR’s Rinku Singh on his match-winning knock against GT in IPL 2023

‘It is best innings of my life’: KKR’s Rinku Singh on his match-winning knock against GT in IPL 2023
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Kolkata, Apr 11: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batter Rinku Singh has said that his match-winning knock against the defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match is the “best inning of his life”.

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Rinku Singh’s five consecutive sixes in the last over took the win away from Gujarat Titans. The match was played at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. “It is the best innings of my life. It never crossed my mind that I would hit five sixes in five balls. If you have belief, things can happen. I had almost done something similar last year, but had lost the match (referring to his 40 off 15 balls against Lucknow Super Giants),” Rinku told ANI.

The batter said that the match was equally balanced but the dismissal of Venkatesh Iyer for 83 and later Rashid Khan’s hat-trick swung things in favour of GT. Rinku said that initially he was not even aware of the runs needed to win in the final over.

“Even I could not hit well initially as I was batting at eight runs in 14 balls. Then in the second last over, I hit a four and six and from that point, I started getting confidence. In the last over, I was not even aware of how many runs we needed to win in the final over. It was only later I got aware that we needed 10 in the final two balls,” added Rinku.

Rinku said that he feels happy that many big celebrities and players are tweeting about his feat.

He also said that he received a video call from actor Shahrukh Khan, the owner of the KKR franchise, after the win.

“I received a video call (from Shahrukh). But I could not talk much as I felt shy,” said Rinku.

On conversations with his family following the win, Rinku said, “My family and friends are happy.”

Talking about his future ambitions, Rinku said that playing for India is his dream.

“But currently, my focus is on IPL. I want to do good for my team and hope we win the final,” said Rinku.

Rinku has also made a name for himself as one of the most consistent players in the domestic circuit for Uttar Pradesh. In 40 matches, he has scored 2,875 runs at an average of 59.89 with seven centuries and 19 fifties in 59 innings, with the best score of 163*. His form is also great in List A cricket, having scored 1,749 runs in 50 matches at an average of 53, with one century and 16 fifties in 46 innings with the best score of 104. In T20s, he has 1,392 runs in 78 matches in 70 innings at an average of 26.76 and a strike rate of over 139. He has scored six fifties in the format.

Coming to the match, Gujarat Titans posted 204/4 in their 20 overs after electing to bat first. Vijay Shankar top-scored with 63 off 24 balls, consisting of four boundaries and five sixes. Sai Sudharshan also scored his second half-century in IPL 2023, scoring 53 in 38 balls consisting of three fours and two sixes. Shubman Gill also played a solid knock of 39 runs in 31 balls, with five fours.

Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers for KKR, taking 3/33 in four overs. Suyash Sharma also continued his solid run after a three-fer against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the previous match, taking 1/35 in his four overs.

In chase of 205 runs, KKR was reduced to 28/2, but skipper Nitish Rana (45 of 29 balls with four boundaries and three sixes) put on a hundred-run stand for the third wicket with Venkatesh Iyer, who scored 83 in 40 balls, which consisted of eight fours and five sixes.

Dismissal of these two set batters and Rashid’s hat-trick put KKR on the backfoot at 155/7. The equation came down to 29 runs in the final over. Rinku Singh came through with a clutch cameo, hitting five successive sixes in the final over to seal what was once an improbable win for KKR. Rinku scored 48* in 21 balls, consisting of one four and six sixes.

Rashid was the pick of the bowlers for GT, taking 3/37. Alzarri Joseph took two, while Joshua Little and Mohammed Shami took a wicket each.

Rinku Singh was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his unbelievable match-winning cameo.

KKR is currently in third place in the IPL 2023 points table with two wins and a loss in three matches and a total of four points.

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