Bengaluru, April 11: Nitish Rana played a blistering knock to guide the Kolkata Knight Riders to a 10-run win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the opening encounter of the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.
The 14th edition is being played behind closed doors and at neutral venues. Playing their first match of the season at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Rana played a key role in KKR’s comprehensive win.
After being put into bat, the KKR opener along with Shubman Gill, handed the Knights a strong start. After Gill’s departure, Rana and Rahul Tripathi (53 off 29) stitched together a second wicket partnership of 93 off 50.
Rana, who made short work of the bowlers, got his innings underway with a boundary off the very first delivery, hitting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for four.
Speaking about his knock during the post-match presentation ceremony, the KKR batsman said, “I thought the ball was in my slot (first ball) and luckily I got a four. My game-plan is always that if the ball is in my slot I'll try to hit it.
“I was backing myself and looking to hit balls. I've been playing spin since childhood, so in a way, it's in my blood,” stated the player-of-the-match.
Rana’s innings at the top handed the Knights a strong start to the T20 tournament. The Kolkata team will next take on defending champions Mumbai Indians at the same venue on Tuesday (April 13).