Top Performers: Rinku, Venkatesh Dazzle

Records galore as the Kolkata Knight Riders clinched a second win on the trot. Unlike their crushing win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the previous match, Sunday saw the game go down to the very last ball.


The Knights have now thrown up different match-winners in the two wins they have registered this season — a very good sign for the former champions.

On Sunday, playing in an away contest at the Narendra Modi stadium, KKR snatched a three-wicket win from defending champions Gujarat Titans.

On a night of many firsts, the win saw KKR pull off their highest successful run chase in the IPL.

The two-time champions had two stars who shone the brightest against the Titans. But the journey to the top hasn’t been easy of either.

The two who put up a dazzling show and played a crucial role for Kolkata on Sunday, April 9, 2023, were Venkatesh Iyer and Rinku Singh.

Both played stunning knocks to chase down a strong target of 205. Both Iyer and Rinku registered their highest ever scores in the IPL.

Iyer set up the Knights for the win, before Rashid Khan’s hat-trick all but took the match away. 25-year-old Rinku came to KKR’s rescue with a smashing knock.

Venkatesh Iyer

Iyer hasn’t always enjoyed a strong run on the field. The all-rounder has found himself in and out of the Indian team, struggling to find a permanent place.

But knocks like this put him right up there with the best. After losing their openers early, Iyer, who came in as an Impact Player, took the tag seriously.

He took charge of the KKR innings with a cracking 40-ball 83. His knock kept the Knights on course before a flurry of wickets put Gujarat back in control.

Rinku Singh

With KKR staring at their second loss of the season, Rinku Singh rode to the team’s rescue. His journey to the big stage hasn’t been easy. When the youngster joined the Knights ranks, he had a loan of Rs 5 lakh on his head. Now he has a contract of Rs 55 lakhs with the Knights.

Hailing from a lower-middle-class family, Rinku fought his way to the top and Sunday’s innings saw him script a new chapter in his career.

Hammering his highest score of the tournament, Rinku’s scoring trajectory was one for the books. While in the first 14 balls he scored just eight runs, the next seven saw him hammer 40 runs!

With 30 coming in the final over.

Knights needed 29 to win, and Yash Dayal was tasked with defending the total in the last over. It was a forgettable night for Dayal. Rinku lit up the Ahmedabad sky as he hammered five sixes on the trot to guide KKR to a thrilling win.

Rinku’s onslaught saw Dayal add an unwanted record to his name as he registered the second-worst bowling figures in the IPL — 0/69.

While Iyer and Rinku stole the show and the awards, there were two other notable performances, though in vain.

Rashid Khan, who was the stand-in skipper for the Titans, picked up his first-ever hat-trick in the IPL, but in the end, it was all in vain.

Another player to put up a noteworthy performance was Vijay Sharma. Sharma’s unbeaten 63 off 24 saw the Titans post a 200+ score, but once again it was for a losing cause.

All in all the Narendra Modi stadium witnessed a match for the ages!

  • IPL 2023

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