Rinku Singh on Sunday became a part of the Indian Premier League folklore after hitting five sixes in five balls to pull-off a stunning three-wicket win for the Kolkata Knight Riders against defending champions Gujarat Titans.
Needing 28 runs to win off the last five balls, Rinku hit GT’s Yash Dayal for five sixes to complete an incredible chase of 207/7. Rinku’s unbeaten 21-ball 48 also won him the award for the Player of the Match.
In an incredible chase, Venkatesh Iyer’s 40-ball 83 and captain Nitish Rana’s 29-ball 45 kept KKR in the match. Iyer fell in the 16th over with the score at 154/4. The match was all but over for the Kolkata team when Rashid Khan took a hat-trick in the next over to get rid of the trio of Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Shardul Thakur.
However, Rinku Singh held fort and ultimately led his side to victory at the end.
“I believed in myself because I played a similar innings last year against Lucknow. There was belief then and today as well there was belief. Rana bhai also told me: keep the belief and stay till the end. Umesh bhaiya also told me, ‘Laga Rinku, sochiyo mat (hit it Rinku, don’t think). Just play the ball,” Rinku said in the post-match presentation.
“To be honest I was not thinking much. Just hitting according to the ball bowled. I never thought I would hit five sixes. It just kept connecting. I had the belief. And we won the match,” he said.
Rana was full of praise for his match-winner stating that Rinku’s batting in the previous match against RCB and his innings against LSG gave the team some hope after Rashid Khan’s hat-trick.
“The two points we have today is all because of Rinku,” Rana said in the post-match presentation.
“We had some belief. Rinku had done it last year as well, although we didn’t win the game then. But when he hit the second six, the belief increased. Yash Dayal wasn’t being able to execute his deliveries, so somewhere, I did believe. As a captain, no matter what total we are chasing, it’s very important to believe. To be honest, out of a hundred matches, you will win one like this.”
Rana also talked about how important the 25-year-old is for the team.
“People have asked me why Rinku Singh doesn’t come in the top rankings and always plays smaller roles or secondary roles. Today, I would like to say, that if this is a secondary role, then you imagine what primary role he can play. And how important a player Rinku Singh is for me. In the last match, we saw that it was important to hold up one end and keep batting. If I were out there batting, then maybe I would have thought that I could chase it down, but in your heart you know what you are capable of and what you can’t do. I don’t have words to describe Rinku’s innings,” Rana said.
KKR, who are second in the league with four points, will next host Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday.