Kolkata Knight Riders were boosted by Dinesh Karthik’s 52 as they eliminated Rajasthan Royals from IPL 2018 with a 25-run win in the Eliminator to set-up a clash with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second Qualifier.
Andre Russell, Man of the Match: “It feels very good. It has been a hectic road since the game against KXIP. Every game moving forward has been like a final. We know how important this was and it feels good to have contributed with the bat and the ball. (On his batting prowess) I think it is just a clear head. You get a short ball, you get a slower ball or a wide ball, you try to play a shot accordingly. It is about having a still base. I try to swing hard and believe in my ability. I have some good sticks as well. (On almost leading the pace attack this season) I think it is good to take responsibility as a senior player. I don’t mind smashing and finishing the innings off and then come and bowl the first over. It was a good game for all of us. As I said, every game from here on is a final and we cannot take anything for granted. It is going to be a new game with a new ball and we will have to start on the front foot.”
Dinesh Karthik: “I think winning 4 games on the row feels good. Especially this one as we were under the pump. Credit to Shubman Gill. Absorbed all the pressure when he walked in. Before he got out, he played some lovely shots and eased the pressure off me. In these games, it is about the attitude and the belief about how much you have got. In these kind of crunch games, it is never about the par score; it’s about how much pressure you can put on the other side. Touch wood, the bowlers have picked up their game. We fielded well as well today, which was good to see. They (RR) always think out of the box. They kept a short leg and put pressure on the batsman. They get the captain thinking. You need to hold your game and nerves. Every game is important from here on. Next game is important as there are two good teams which will be competing.”
Rahane: “Disappointed, especially given how we started, taking 4-5 wickets early. That partnership (between Karthik and Gill) and the dropped catch of Russell hurt us. When you get a start like that, you generally look to win the game. I think KKR bowled really well. They know the conditions really well. It was gettable. They were 10-12 runs short. It’s important to finish the games and we didn’t have partnerships towards the end. When me and Sanju were batting, we were looking to play positively. I told him during the second timeout that I will go after bowlers and that you bat through. But unfortunately he got out. I think overall we played good cricket. Our bowling unit fantastic this season. Need to improve in our batting and fielding.