When the second six happened, we knew we could actually win this: Venkatesh Iyer
by crickethighlights.one Staff • Published on Sun, Apr 9, 2023
As Alzarri Joseph ended Venkatesh Iyer’s fine knock in the 14th over and Rashid Khan picked an exceptional hat-trick with three googlies in the 16th, KKR chase looked to have derailed. The left-handed Iyer had kept them going but the flurry of wickets meant Gujarat Titans were primed to make it three wins in three games. All eyes were on Rinku Singh, their last batting hope, but victory from that point must have been a far-fetched idea even for the KKR dugout.
What followed, however, was one of the most incredible run-chases in the history of the tournament and the format as Rinku smashed five successive sixes off Yash Dayal in the final over to send his KKR teammates into a tizzy. Iyer admitted rather honestly that he didn’t think there was a chance KKR would walk away with two points when the equation was 48 off 18 balls. Rinku turned the mood around quickly, and by the time he hit the second of the five sixes, the KKR dugout was filled with belief.
“I’ll be honest with you, I thought we couldn’t win it,” Iyer said in the post-match press conference. “Everyone ruled us out. To score 40-odd of three overs with not a lot of batting left. Of course Rinku was there but I didn’t believe that it could happen. We knew that Yash (Dayal) is going to bowl the last over and he’s an amazing bowler but it was not his night.
“When the second six happened, we can actually win this game. God always gives these moments to people with a golden heart. Rinku is someone that everyone likes and I am really happy that God has given him this very moment,” Iyer said.
Rinku himself didn’t think he could pull off five sixes. Right after he’d done the unthinkable he revealed that his plan was to ‘react to every ball’.
“To be honest I was not thinking much. Just reacting to every ball. I never thought I would hit five sixes. I just kept hitting. I had the belief. And we won the match,” Rinku said at the post-match presentation.
What the feisty left-hander pulled off was nothing short of exceptional and the celebrations that followed were clear evidence of the magnitude of the victory, even at such an early stage in the season. Iyer reckoned it is a win that is going to be cherished by the team for a long time to come.
“This match is going to be remembered for the ‘Lord Rinku’ show. Obviously everyone ruled us out before the last two overs but obviously to come back from there and win is something that won’t happen everyday. We’re going to cherish this game for a very long time,” Iyer said.
Rinku’s final-over frenzy comes just three days after Shardul Thakur’s jaw-dropping effort against RCB which has now catapulted KKR to second spot in the table with two wins and a healthy Net Run Rate. They now have a four-day break to revel in their performances and regroup before facing Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens on Friday (April 14).