Pitch got better as the game went on: Venkatesh Iyer

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) extended their winning streak at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to eight straight games as they defeated Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) by seven wickets on Friday, March 29.

After restricting the home team to 182/6, KKR breezed through the run-chase as they romped home with 19 balls to spare. Virat Kohli’s unbeaten knock of 83 off 59 balls went in vain as the former two-time champions were just too good with the bat in the second innings.

One of the star performers for KKR in the lopsided encounter was Venkatesh Iyer. The southpaw smashed 50 off just 30 balls and his elegant knock was glistened with three fours and four sixes. After he hit a pull for six off Alzarri Joseph, Venkatesh went down clutching his lower back. The physio rushed out to attend to him. After receiving treatment, the 29-year-old continued batting without showing any signs of discomfort.

“It’s just a little jacked up, have to go and have a scan,” the Indore-born said after the game when asked about his back after the match.

When RCB was batting, the slower balls from the KKR seamers were sticking in the surface and run-scoring was not looking very easy. However, in the second innings, the visitors annihilated the RCB bowling with fluent strokeplay. Venkatesh admitted that the surface got better in the second innings. He also lauded opener Sunil Narine, who slammed a 22-ball 47, for making things easier for the batters who followed.

“To be honest, it got better as the game went on, one end in particular, the Pavilion end and credit to Narine, the pressure was off and we had to go and finish the formalities. It was very important to capitalise on the platform laid, the left-arm spinner was bowling and it was my duty to go after the bowling,” the left-hander said.