I love playing under pressure: Nitish Rana
Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Nitish Rana, who bagged the Man of the Match award in their 71-run win over Delhi Daredevils last night, said he relishes the challenge of playing under pressure.
"It was an important game for us since we had lost the last two. My performance is better under pressure. I love playing under pressure," Rana said at the post-match conference.
Rana held the KKR innings together with a 35-ball 59, a knock that embodied poise and panache in equal measure as his team posted a tall 200/9 before bundling out Delhi for 129 with more than five overs to spare.
Kolkata Knight Riders returned to winning ways after two successive defeats against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings. This was their second victory from four matches and the former Mumbai Indians batsman played a crucial role.
Asked about his innings the 24-year-old played down his role and said it was a team effort as everyone fulfilled their responsibilities.
"I don't think I played such a huge role, everyone's been assigned a certain responsibility, I just had to fulfil that, so did the others," a modest Rana said.
Although Delhi lost three wickets inside as many overs, Glenn Maxwell (47) and Rishabh Pant (43) kept the Dardevils in the hunt with a fifty plus partnership before Kuldeep Yadav (3/32) triggered the collapse and Sunil Narine (3/18) wrapping the proceedings.
"Everyone has made a contribution in today's game. Take for example, Kuldeep's two wickets -- Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell. Those wickets were very important at that point of time," he said.
However, Rana's knock was overshadowed by big hitting Jamaican Andre Russell's blistering 12-ball 41, studded with six sixes.
Crediting Russell for being the game-changer, Delhi Daredevils bowling coach Sridharan Sriram felt his team leaked runs and a score of 170-180 would have been a "par score".