The Indian cricketing fraternity took to social media to laud Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batter Rinku Singh, who pulled off one of the greatest heists in the T20 format by smashing five successive sixes in final five balls of last over to seal a thrilling three-wicket win against Gujarat Titans (GT).
The defending champions at their home territory of Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Rinku Singh’s five consecutive sixes in the last over took the win away from Gujarat Titans at Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar noted that the thrilling match taught fans that “it is not over till it is over.”
“A match that went down to the wire & continued shifting momentum. One felt Rashid’s hat-trick was a game-changer but Rinku’s power-hitting was something special. Enjoyed the last few moments. This amazing game continues to teach us that it’s not over till it’s over. #GTvKKR,” tweeted Tendulkar.
Shreyas Iyer, KKR’s regular skipper who is currently out of IPL 2023 due to back injury, also posted a story to celebrate his side’s win.
“What a match, unbelievable. Rinku bhai kabhi na haare! (What a match, unbelievable, Rinku bhai never loses!),” said Iyer’s story.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), another IPL franchise took to Twitter to express their awe and inspiration at Rinku’s knock.
“Awestruck and inspired by what we witnessed earlier tonight! Top knock under pressure, Rinku! #PlayBold #GTvKKR #IPL2023,” tweeted RCB.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) also acknowledged Rinku’s knock, drawing parallels with West Indies all-rounder Carlos Braithwaite’s knock against England in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016, where he smashed Ben Stokes for four successive sixes in final over to seal WI’s second title.
“Rinku Singh Carlos Brathwaite “Remember the name!” #IPL2023 #T20WorldCup,” tweeted ICC.
Legendary Indian opener Virender Sehwag also tweeted, “All hail Lord Rinku Singh. 5 sixes in 5 balls in the last over of a run chase. One of the best last over-hitting in a chase that you would ever see. #KKRvGT.”
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan also lauded Rinku’s knock.
“Unbelievable hitting by @rinkusingh235 What a win by KKR,” tweeted Pathan.
Former Indian cricketer Mohammed Kaif also expressed happiness at Rinku’s heroics, calling him “one of the most hard-working cricketer i have known.”
“So happy for Rinku Singh, one of the most hard-working cricketer i have known. He is from Aligarh, very modest family background. His first season with the UP team was my last,” said Kaif.
Coming to the match, Gujarat Titans posted 204/4 in their 20 overs after electing to bat first. Vijay Shankar top-scored with 63 off 24 balls, consisting of four boundaries and five sixes.
Sai Sudharshan also scored his second half-century in IPL 2023, scoring 53 in 38 balls consisting of three fours and two sixes. Shubman Gill also played a solid knock of 39 runs in 31 balls, with five fours.
Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers for KKR, taking 3/33 in four overs. Suyash Sharma also continued his solid run after a three-fer against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the previous match, taking 1/35 in his four overs.
In chase of 205 runs, KKR was reduced to 28/2, but skipper Nitish Rana (45 off 29 balls with four boundaries and three sixes) put on a hundred-run stand for the third wicket with Venkatesh Iyer, who scored 83 in 40 balls, which consisted of eight fours and five sixes.
Dismissal of these two set batters and Rashid’s hat-trick put KKR on the backfoot at 155/7. The equation came down to 29 runs in the final over. Rinku Singh came through with a clutch cameo, hitting five successive sixes in the final over to seal what was once an improbable win for KKR. Rinku scored 48* in 21 balls, consisting of one four and six sixes.
Rashid was the pick of the bowlers for GT, taking 3/37. Alzarri Joseph took two, while Joshua Little and Mohammed Shami took a wicket each.
Rinku Singh was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his unbelievable match-winning cameo.
With this win, KKR has climbed to third position in the points table, winning two of their three matches and losing one. They have a total of four points. GT has slipped to fourth position and has a similar win-loss record to KKR, but KKR is one position up due to a superior net-run-rate.