With Eden Gardens' triumph over Rajasthan Royals (RR), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) went on an inch closer to the IPL 2018 Playoffs, and Captain Dinesh Karthik is going gaga over his triumph card –Kuldeep Yadav for his match-winning display with the ball on Tuesday (15 May).
Royals had a decent start with Rahul Tripathi and Jos Buttler, but Kuldeep broke the backbone of the touring side by dismissing the Englishman for 39. Later, Andre Russell and Prasidh Krishna, who took 2 wickets each, joined Yadav (4/20) and bowled out the Royals at 142 in 19 overs.
In reply, Kolkata’s mutual contribution with the willow, especially Chris Lynn (45) and Karthik (41) made things easy for the hosts, chased down the target in just 18 overs, eventually won the game by 6-wickets.
With this win in the do-or-die IPL 2018 contest, KKR has gathered 2 points and now they have 14 points which means they need to win their next match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on 19 May to book their berth for the playoffs.
As per reports in India Today, Karthik told reporters at the post-match press conference, “Hats off to him [Kuldeep]. Kuldeep is an international quality bowler and is one of the best Chinaman bowler in the world. He is sometimes so confident that he ends up slacking off and giving out one easy ball. But the amount of effort he puts in at the practice is unbelievable. He is very hardworking, always in the gym and if I can keep him consistent it is enough.”
On RR’s innings, KKR skipper said, "I think they started off brilliantly, especially Buttler and Tripathi played really well. But it also shows our character where we just didn't give up. When we got the chance we just didn't let it go. Winning one, losing the next and then coming back is a part of the IPL.”
Karthik signed off by saying, “We just try and put in team bonding sessions, keep interacting and look to put a smile one everyone's face to keep them motivated.”