Rana makes surprise impact as KKR sink RCB
Part-time spinner Nitish Rana made an unexpectedly decisive impression with the ball as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets, dismissing AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in his solitary over.
Sunil Narine thumped 50 off just 19 balls at the top of the order to help Kolkata hunt down a target of 177 with seven balls to spare, but Rana was the star of the show at Eden Gardens.
Better known as a batsman, Rana had just four Twenty20 wickets to his name before he was surprisingly called upon to bowl the 15th over of the RCB innings.
He duly broke a third-wicket stand of 64 by having De Villiers (44) caught at long-on off his second ball, before stunningly yorking Kohli (31) with his next delivery.
Not content with dismissing two of the world's best batsmen as RCB were limited to 176-7, Rana went on to make a valuable contribution in Kolkata's chase, striking 34 off 25 deliveries after Narine's brutal innings, which featured five sixes.
The Knight Riders were also grateful for an unbeaten 35 from skipper Dinesh Karthik.
A blazing fifty from @SunilPNarine74 & useful contributions from @NitishRana_27 & Captain @DineshKarthik guides us to our sixth consecutive win in an @IPL opening game!#KKRvRCB#KKRHaiTaiyaar#IPL2018pic.twitter.com/3W7Rdkca21-- KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) April 8, 2018
"We were 15 short with the bat, myself included. I played too many dot balls," said RCB captain Kohli.
"Me and AB getting out in two balls to a part-timer was game-changing as well."