Nitish Rana wants to bowl more for Knight Riders after scalping Virat Kohli‘s big…

The interaction ended with Nitish Rana saying he hoped to bowl four overs regularly and maybe take four wickets in a match of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL). Neither may happen but Rana’s part-time off-breaks just got added to the already intimidating spin arsenal of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). ()

Whether this IPL discovers the spinner in Nitish Rana will unravel over the next seven weeks but even a compulsive bettor perhaps wouldn’t have wagered on him getting Eden Gardens to be aflutter with KKR’s yellow flags when on a hattrick against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Rana’s show with the ball, and Sunil Narine landing a few roundhouse whacks with the bat against are something that will help KKR’s cause this season. ()

“I had nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I saw Piyush (Chawla) and Sunil Narine bowling from that end (Club House End) and found that the ball was gripping. So I knew if I hit the right areas, I thought could get rewards. At that stage it was important to get them out,” said Rana of his only over on Sunday.

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When new skipper Dinesh Karthick gave Rana the ball, RCB looked ready for a take-off at 121/2 in 14 overs. Rana was hit for a six but he then got AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli, the latter bowled by a delivery so full that it also had the IPL’s best batsman looking out of sorts.

“I do bowl at the domestic level in Delhi. Here too, I bowled in a practice game and did well. That’s when Dinesh told me to be ready. I was backing myself and got lucky,” said Rana, after KKR’s four-wicket win with seven balls to spare.

Rana then slipped into his role as a specialist batsman and along with Karthik took KKR to the verge of victory. “I can bat anywhere and am okay with the pressure of living up to expectation. Actually, a little pressure helps your batting,” said Rana.

Narine took it away

RCB’s Mandeep Singh, whose 18-ball 37 helped reach what he thought was a good total of 176/7, said it was Narine’s innings that made the difference.

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“He took the game away. Last year too, he had come up with some good ones against us. Narine’s innings did 50% of the job for KKR. In six-seven overs, he took the game away,” said Singh.

“He plays freely and that is why it is difficult to bowl to him. But after the match we were discussing that maybe we should have bowled fuller to Narine,” said Mandeep.