Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile led his side to a thriller winning against Delhi Daredevils (DD) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 on Monday. Picking up 3 for 23 runs, he stated that it was tough to make a comeback after an injury layoff. Chasing 169 for victory, KKR emerged victorious by 4 wickets courtesy a brilliant unbeaten 49-ball 69 from Manish Pandey. With this victory, KKR have moved to the top spot of the points table and will like to carry on in the same stead in the upcoming games. Coulter-Nile played his first game in IPL 10, replacing Trent Boult and proved to be the difference between both sides. Highlights, DD vs KKR IPL 10, Match 18: KKR win by 4 wickets
“Making a comeback from injury, I had to focus on my role. Getting back was tough, it was long time out of the game. Probably it was hard years of my life. Playing T20 cricket, doing well and contributing to the win, all worth in the end,” stated Australian at the post-math press conference. Coulter-Nile and Sunil Narine were the most effective with the ball and restricted Daredevils to 168 for 7 before Yusuf Pathan (59) and Pandey (69 not out) anchored the chase with one ball to spare.
However, KKR were struggling at one stage with their top three batsmen back in the pavilion with the team scoreboard reading 21 for 3. ”We back our top-6 batsmen and losing one or two wickets at the top does not really bother us. Yusuf (Pathan) and Manish (Pandey) have been doing well and we back our middle and lower order to come good even if we lose wickets at the top,” said Coulter-Nile.
Umesh Yadav was the most expensive KKR bowler today with figures of 4-0-53-1. Rishabh Pant smashed him for 26 runs in an over, including three sixes and two fours. Coulter-Nile defended Umesh, saying, “I don’t think Umesh went wrong. He had had his plans, he tried to execute them but sometimes in T20 a batsman gets away.”
On being asked if KKR would continue to shuffle with their opening combination, Coulter-Nile told, “We were banking on Chris Lynn to set us up at the top of the order. So in his absence someone or the other would have to do the job and we are still looking at things.”
The 29-year-old pacer said his captain Gautam Gambhir may come across as aggressive on the field but that is completely unlike his off-field demeanour. ”He is a really good captain and a guy. Off the field he is completely calm and controlled,” declared the Man of the Match Coulter-Nile from match 18 of the ongoing cash-rich league.
Coutler-Nile also revealed that chasing helps a side by giving them time to assess the conditions and that was the reason they prefer batting second. ”All the teams back their batting and I think it gives you time to assess the conditions. You can plan the chase whatever be the target,” said Coulter-Nile.
On the other hand, Pat Cummins rued the fact that they allowed Pathan-Pandey to settle down and failed to capitalise after KKR’s top order faltered. “We were definitely expecting a win after we saw off the top three Kolkata batsmen but we let them (Pathan and Pandey) settle in. We got the three big wickets and we should have tried to attack more. It was a good partnership and we let the game slip,” told Cummins.
However, Cummins did not back down from praising Pandey after his nerve-wrecking knock. “He played a really good innings”, said Cummins. He also revealed that he was enjoying bowling along side Zaheer Khan. ”I wish I could take him to Australia with me. I am really enjoying working with him,” concluded Cummins.