Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batter Rinku Singh made a name for himself as a ‘finisher’ by hitting five consecutive sixes against Gujarat Titans (GT) in Match 13 of the in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. Since then, he has continued to be a consistent performer for the Knight Riders, establishing himself as one of the most reliable players in the team.
In the recently-concluded match against Punjab Kings (PBKS), Rinku once again proved his worth as he hit a boundary off the last ball to take KKR over the line with 5 wickets in hand. The fans at Eden Gardens acknowledged his heroics with loud chants of ‘Rinku… Rinku’, reminiscent of the chants that are reserved for West Indies superstar Andre Russell.
KKR captain Nitish Rana was pleased with Rinku’s performance and proud to see the crowd chanting his name.
“Main sirf usko yahi bol raha hun ki believe rakh apne pe, kyunki jo tune kiya hai voh shayad life mein bahut players nahi kar paayenge, aur agar tu voh kar sakta hai toh kuch bhi kar sakta hai. Jab voh batting kar raha hai, poora crowd Rinku Rinku bol raha tha, mere khayal se isne wahi kamaya hai iss saal (I keep telling him to believe in himself, because what you have done (5 sixes in KKR vs GT game), don’t think anyone ever will. So if you can do that, you can do anything. When he was batting, the whole crowd was going ‘Rinku Rinku’ and I think this is what he has earned this season),” Rana said at the post-match presentation.
The home team was pretty much in the game while chasing 180 for victory, thanks to a solid start given by their top-order batters.
When Rana got out in the 16th over, KKR needed 51 runs to win with Russell and Rinku at the crease. The duo hit four sixes and three fours in the next three overs, bringing the required run-rate to just 6 in the final over.
After Russell got run out on the penultimate delivery, the fans at Eden Gardens began chanting for Rinku, and he did not disappoint as he hit the winning boundary in the last ball.
“Mere goosebumps khade ho jaate hain yeh dekh ke ki yahi Rinku ne kamaya hai. 6 saal ho gaye mujhe yahan khelte hue, pehle jab Russell Russell bolte the toh accha lagta tha kyunki Russell ne voh sab pehle Kiya hua hai but ab jab poora crowd Rinku Rinku bolta hai mujhe bahut khushi hoti hai (I get goosebumps seeing that. I have been with this franchise for six years. Earlier when the crowd chanted ‘Russell Russell’, it felt good seeing that since he has done that time and again but when they do the same with Rinku, I just feel very happy for him,” added Rana.