Rinku Singh:- The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secured a comprehensive win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday, April 6, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The left-handed batsman Rinku Singh led the team’s celebration after his crucial role in the win, scoring a valuable 46 runs off 33 balls. His efforts, coupled with Shardul Thakur’s maiden IPL fifty and Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s stroke-filled 57, contributed to KKR’s 81-run thrashing of RCB.
IPL 2023 has been a rollercoaster so far, with its share of thrilling moments and disappointing defeats. In the ninth match of the tournament, KKR put up a dominating performance against RCB, with Rinku Singh batting leading the team’s charge. Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of the match.
Rinku Singh KKR’s Innings
KKR started their innings in a shaky manner, with the RCB bowlers making early inroads. But Singh’s arrival at the crease steadied the innings, and he along with Gurbaz started building a partnership. Gurbaz’s stroke-filled 57 gave KKR the momentum they needed, and Singh played the anchor’s role in the partnership. He provided the stability needed at one end while Gurbaz went on the attack. Singh’s 46 runs off 33 balls included six boundaries and a six, and he fell off the last delivery of the over after smoking two sixes and a four off Harshal Patel. His valuable contribution helped KKR post a daunting total of 215/6.
Rinku Singh Career Highlights
Rinku Singh had a deep passion for cricket from a young age, but his family could not afford to pay for his training. Despite facing financial struggles, Rinku Singh continued to pursue his passion for cricket. He would practice by hitting a rubber ball against a wall in his village. Singh’s talent did not go unnoticed, and he was selected to play for the Uttar Pradesh under-16 team. However, he failed to make the cut and was rejected.
The Turning Point
In 2014, Rinku Singh was working as a sweeper in a local factory in Aligarh when he caught the attention of former Indian cricketer and coach, RP Singh. RP Singh recognized Singh’s potential and invited him to attend trials for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Singh performed exceptionally well during the trials and was selected to play for the KKR in 2018.
In the same year, KKR bought Singh’s services for his base price of Rs. 80 lakhs. However, Singh did not get many opportunities to showcase his talent in the first few seasons of the IPL.
The Fairytale Journey
Singh’s fairytale journey began on April 9, 2023, during the IPL match between KKR and Gujarat Titans. Singh’s team was chasing a target of 195 runs and needed 28 runs off the last over to win the match. Singh, who came to bat at number 6, smashed five consecutive sixes off the last five balls of the match and helped KKR secure a remarkable win. Singh’s unbeaten knock of 30 runs off just 6 balls earned him the Player of the Match award.
Singh’s performance in the match made him an overnight sensation, and he became a household name in India. His ability to handle pressure and deliver under difficult circumstances was lauded by cricket pundits and fans alike. Singh’s heroics in the match also earned him a spot in the Indian cricket team for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Impact on Cricket
Rinku Singh’s inspiring journey and exceptional performances have had a significant impact on cricket. Singh’s story is a testament to the fact that with hard work, determination, and perseverance, one can overcome any obstacle and achieve success. His journey has inspired millions of young cricketers in India who come from similar backgrounds as him to pursue their dreams.
Singh’s performances in the IPL have also caught the attention of cricket experts who have praised his batting skills and ability to hit big shots. Singh’s left-handed batting style and right-handed off-spin bowling make him a valuable asset to any team.
RCB’s chase began disastrously, with KKR’s spinners strangling them in the powerplay. They lost wickets at regular intervals, and despite AB de Villiers’ brief cameo of 28 runs off 15 balls, they failed to keep up with the required run rate. Shardul Thakur’s 54 off 31 balls provided some entertainment towards the end, but it was too little too late. RCB finished with a paltry score of 134/9 in their 20 overs, losing by a margin of 81 runs.
Rinku Singh Role in KKR’s Win
Rinku Singh 46 runs off 33 balls was a vital contribution to KKR’s victory over RCB. His partnership with Gurbaz gave KKR the platform they needed to post a challenging total. Rinku Singh’s six off Harshal Patel’s last delivery of the over was a momentum-shifting moment in KKR’s innings, and it helped them push the total beyond the 200-run mark.
Thakur’s 54 off 31 balls was the only bright spot in RCB’s innings. He played a counter-attacking inning and hit six boundaries and two sixes. Thakur’s score is the second-highest by a No. 7 batter in the IPL’s history, with Andre Russell’s 88 against CSK in 2018 being the highest. Thakur’s innings, coupled with Rinku Singh belligerent 46 off 33, formed the crux of KKR’s riposte on a night when RCB bowlers made early inroads.
The match began with the Titans winning the toss and electing to bowl first. KKR got off to a shaky start, losing opener Shubman Gill in the second over. However, Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi put on a solid partnership to steady the ship. Rana, who was named KKR’s new captain after Eoin Morgan’s injury, played an impressive knock of 74 off just 44 balls. Tripathi played a crucial supporting role, scoring 42 off 37 balls.
But the turning point of the match came in the 17th over when Rinku Singh walked into bat with KKR struggling at 89 for 5. He proceeded to play a blinder of an inning, scoring an unbeaten 66 off just 27 balls. His innings included six fours and five sixes, including the longest six of the match, which was measured at 106 meters. His performance propelled KKR to a mammoth total of 204/7 in their 20 overs.
In response, the Titans got off to a decent start, with openers Jos Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal putting on a 47-run partnership. However, the introduction of KKR’s spinners turned the match in their favor. Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine picked up three wickets each, and the Titans were soon reduced to 100 for 7.
At this point, it looked like KKR would cruise to an easy victory. But GT’s Ravi Bishnoi had other ideas. He proceeded to play a fantastic inning, scoring 58 off just 25 balls, including five fours and four sixes. Bishnoi and last man standing Sandeep Sharma put on a 57-run partnership, threatening to pull off an unlikely victory. But KKR’s Shivam Mavi had other ideas, dismissing Sharma to end the match and seal a comfortable 81-run victory for his side.
Overall, it was an entertaining match that showcased the depth and talent of both sides. For KKR, Rinku Singh was undoubtedly the star of the show, pulling off a miracle to lead his team to victory. On the other hand, the Titans will be disappointed to have lost their unbeaten record, but they can take heart from the fighting spirit shown by Bishnoi and Sharma toward the end.