Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 22 (ANI): Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Eoin Morgan praised Pat Cummins and Andre Russell for their fighting spirit and said the middle and lower order showed tremendous fight against Chennai Super Kings.
A late onslaught from Cummins (66*) and Russell (54) went in vain as CSK registered a thrilling 18-run win against KKR in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match here at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Batting first, CSK posted 220/3 in their allotted 20 overs riding on a brilliant 95 not out from Faf du Plessis and a well-compiled 64-run knock from Ruturaj Gaikwad. In response, knocks from Cummins and Russell kept the KKR alive till the last over of the match but the Kolkata-based franchise failed to cross the line.
"It's quite high at the moment [how's the pulse?]. One hell of a game. Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik put a partnership together and following that Pat Cummins gave us every chance towards the end. Tremendous fight from the middle and lower order. You ride the emotions throughout the day. The first five overs of batting didn't go our way. We didn't play as well as we would've liked," Morgan said after the game.
He further said that bowlers could have done better for them in the game.
"We can be happy with [how we adapted to a] new ground, different challenges. Going back to it, I don't think there was any margin for error for the bowlers. We need to be kinder to the bowlers. You really need to be on the money. I tend to stay away from Dre after he gets out [laughs]. It's great he's in this sort of form. Disappointing that the rest of us couldn't help him out," Morgan said.
Chasing a mammoth target of 221, KKR had a horrible start as both the openers Shubman Gill (0) and Nitish Rana (9) went back to the dressing room inside the first three overs. Deepak Chahar bagged both the wickets for CSK with the new ball.
Morgan and Rahul Tripathi also couldn't stay long in the middle. Chahar first removed Morgan (7) and then Sunil Narine (4) in the fifth over to leave KKR reeling at 31/4. Things turned from bad to worse very rapidly for KKR as Tripathi (8) was picked by Lungi Ngidi in the last over of the powerplay.
After Tripathi's dismissal, Russell joined forces with Dinesh Karthik and took on the CSK bowlers. He scored 54 off 22 balls with the help of 6 sixes and three fours. Russell and Karthik accumulated 81 runs off just 39 balls for the sixth wicket. The partnership kept KKR's hope alive in the encounter but just when things seemed to go in favour of Morgan and boys, Sam Curran clean bowled Russell in the 12th over.
Pat Cummins joined Karthik in the middle and kept the run-rate at par with the required rate. The duo added 34 runs for the seventh wicket before Ngidi scalped the wicket of Karthik (40) in the 15th over.
The match was all but gone for KKR. However, Cummins had other plans. He kept on smashing boundaries and was in no mood of giving up on the total. He scored 30 runs off Curran in the 16th over.
In the last two overs, KKR needed 28 runs. In the penultimate, Curran gave eight runs and took a wicket but Cummins kept the strike with him on the last ball of the 19th over.
In the final over, Prasidh Krishna got run out as KKR got bundled out for 202 in 19.1 overs. Cummins remained unbeaten on 66 off 34, smashing six sixes and four fours.
KKR will next play against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday. (ANI)