After Kolkata Knight Riders crashed to their fourth straight loss of IPL 2023 through a 49-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings at Eden Gardens, captain Nitish Rana admitted it was difficult for him to accept that his team conceded 235 runs at their home ground.
On Sunday, Kolkata had elected to bowl first and used four bowlers in power-play. But none of them were unable to stop a dominating batting show from Chennai as Devon Conway made 56, his fourth consecutive fifty of the competition.
It was followed by Ajinkya Rahane dazzling with an unbeaten 29-ball 71 and Shivam Dube slamming a quick 21-ball fifty to propel Chennai Super Kings to a massive 235/4, also the highest total at this venue in the IPL.
"Need to give credit to Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) for carrying out whatever he was attempting. It's difficult to digest being taken for 235 runs on that pitch. We have not been improving in the tournament," said Rana after the game ended.
In reply, Jason Roy and Rinku Singh struck valiant half-centuries, but they were not enough as Kolkata ended up at 186/8, and are now at eighth place in the points table. "If we keep repeating our mistakes in such a big tournament against big teams, you are going to be behind.
We needed to have a good start (in the powerplay) chasing such a big score, but couldn't get it and we were always behind in the game," added Rana.Conway played a vital hand in Chennai having a blistering 73-run opening partnership and credited improved strokeplay as well as his partner Ruturaj Gaikwad for his good showing in IPL 2023.
"I think my partnership with Rutu calms the nerves. A lot of credit needs to go to Rutu. Just trying to be as clear as possible. I've always had an issue with the ball on the body, but have been getting over it. By using my feet (against spinners), I get into good positions and get momentum."
"The culture we have here in Chennai us very special and for us it's about continuing this momentum. Certainly, having MS makes us feel like every game is like a home fixture."