It was a great performance by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) led from the front by Dinesh Karthik, as they returned to winning ways with a convincing victory against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 31 runs.
In a high scoring encounter, KKR posted 245 on the board in their allotted 20 overs, which is the highest score in this edition so far. The mammoth score was largely built around a sensational knock of 75 of 36 balls by Sunil Narine. Wicketkeeper-batsman Karthik continued his rich vein of form and remained unbeaten on 50 of 23 deliveries.
Kolkata has been heavily reliant on their spin trio of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, and Piyush Chawla. However, recently it was the pacers who did the job for Kolkata. The 22-year-old pacer, Prasidh Krishna was the pick of the KKR bowlers finishing with two for 31 in four overs.
Karthik was quite impressed with the way his quick bowlers bowled.
“We batted really well and it was a convincing win. It’s a small ground so they also believe that they can hit a couple of sixes at any stage, and that puts the bowlers under a lot of pressure. Especially for the spinners, mishits can go for six so it becomes harder,” Karthik said in a presser.
“Our seamers are coming through slowly. Prasidh has been quality, he’s bowled really well for us. Javon (Searles) was good, you know. He used his brains a lot, just mixed it up – I liked it. And when Andre fires, there’s no player like him, he’s special,” Karthik added.
Narine was at his flamboyant best with the bat in hand and ended up scoring his highest score in IPL. Narine also managed to get the prized wicket of KL Rahul when he was going hammers and tongs.
“What I liked the most about him was that he was mature, he batted through. He doesn’t think of himself as a pinch-hitter anymore. He thinks of himself as a batsman who can contribute, which is big,” said Karthik.
Narine has himself said that contributing in two areas has helped him ease off the pressure on him.
“It feels good knowing that I can contribute when I’m done with the ball. It’s good for the team and it puts less pressure on my bowling,” Dinesh Karthik asserted.
Meanwhile, Krishna said that not raffled at all bowling at the death. He has prepared himself to bowl at any time.
“At my age, or whoever it is as a bowler, you look forward to facing challenges. Definitely, a very tough wicket to bowl and the ground is also very small. You have to come up with things where you don’t get hit, or you just give it away for a single. My plan was to keep it simple,” Krishna maintained.
“I was told every fast bowler has to bowl in the death overs, so I was prepared to bowl any given over. That is the job of any bowler who plays cricket, you should be ready to bowl at any time of the match,” Krishna stated.
Meanwhile, it must be noted that Prasidh has just one first-class match against Bangladesh A in Mysore in 2015. He was looking forward to break into the Karnataka Ranji side.
“Playing for Karnataka is a big thing, I’ve been waiting to play there. I’ve been part of the squad for three years but not got the chance to play. I’m eager and waiting to play there,” Krishna concluded.