Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, who picked up three wickets for 22 runs to help his side beat Delhi Daredevils in the IPL today, said it was tough to make a comeback after an injury layoff.KKR defeated Daredevils by four wickets in a keenly-contested match and Coulter-Nile said he was happy to have contributed to the team’s success. (Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan fifties script Kolkata’s victory over Delhi)”Making a comeback from injury, I had to focus on my role. Getting back was tough, it was long time out of the game. Probably it was hard years of my life. Playing T20 cricket, doing well and contributing to the win, all worth in the end,” the Australian said at the post-math press conference here. (Mohammad Nabi becomes second Afghanistan cricketer to play in IPL)Coulter-Nile and Sunil Narine controlled bowling effort restricted daredevils to 168 for seven, and then Yusuf Pathan (59) and Manish Pandey (69 not out) anchored the chase to perfection as KKR overwhelmed the target with a ball to spare.However, KKR were struggling at one stage with their top three batsmen back in the pavilion with the team scoreboard reading 21 for three.”We back our top-6 batsmen and losing one or two wickets at the top does not really bother us. Yusuf (Pathan) and Manish (Pandey) have been doing well and we back our middle and lower order to come good even if we lose wickets at the top,” said Coulter-Nile.Umesh Yadav was the most expensive KKR bowler today with figures of 4-0-53-1.advertisementYoung Daredevils batsman Rishabh Pant hit him for 26 runs in an over where three sixes and two fours were hit.But Coulter-Nile defended his pace colleague, saying: “I don’t think Umesh went wrong. He had had his plans, he tried to execute them but sometimes in T20 a batsman gets away.”Asked if KKR would be experimenting with their opening combination throughout the season, Coulter-Nile said, “We were banking on Chris Lynn to set us up at the top of the order. So in his absence someone or the other would have to do the job and we are still looking at things.”The 29-year-old pacer said his captain Gautam Gambhir may come across as aggressive on the field but that is completely unlike his off-field demeanour.”He is a really good captain and a guy. Off the field he is completely calm and controlled,” said Coulter-Nile, who was declared the man-of-the-match.The Australian said batting second gives the team the time to assess the conditions and that was the reason KKR were comfortable in chasing.”All the teams back their batting and I think it gives you time to assess the conditions. You can plan the chase whatever be the target,” said Coulter-Nile.Daredevils fast bowler Pat Cummins, meanwhile, rued the fact that they allowed Pathan and Pandey to settle down and failed to capitalise on the initial advantage.”We were definitely expecting a win after we saw off the top three Kolkata batsmen but we let them (Pathan and Pandey) settle in. We got the three big wickets and we should have tried to attack more. It was a good partnership and we let the game slip,” said Cummins.Heaping praise on Pandey, Cummins said: “He played a really good innings.”Cummins said he was enjoying bowling along side Zaheer Khan.”I wish I could take him to Australia with me. I am really enjoying working with him,” concluded Cummins.
Sam Curran is the toast of Kings XI Punjab after his hat-trick in a thrilling win over Delhi Capitals but he has remained humble in the wake of the adulation and is eager to see his team win more matches in the 2019 Indian Premier League.Kings XI Punjab have been in superb form this season having won 3 out of their 4 matches. On April 1, KXIP secured one of finesh come-from-behind wins to stun Delhi Capitals in Mohali. Sam Curran had replaced the mighty Chris Gayle for that game and he stood up with a sensational display of pace bowling in the death overs.The slide started for Delhi Capitals when Mohammed Shami dismissed dangerman Rishabh Pant and Curran felt that changed the momentum in the game. Curran was also impressed with R Ashwin’s direct throw which caught Chris Morris short of his ground.The cricketing world has been in awe of 20-year-old Sam Curran who became the youngest player to take an IPL hat-trick. But Curran has instead chosen to focus on how good his entire team has been this season.”Fingers crossed for more victories than hat-tricks, hopefully the boys can. We got some nice momentum. We have got a nice bunch of boys in the team and we really enjoy winning games for each other and so far so good,” Sam Curran told AajTak.Curran said he had no idea he had taken a hat-trick but he recalled how Shami got KXIP back into the game.”I think Delhi needed about 30 runs off 28 balls, when Shami got Rishabh Pant. That changed the game and then Chris Morris got run out on the first ball by our captain, which was pretty cool.advertisement”I think we saw a few people leaving when they needed 23 off 21, I am sure that the people who left… It was an amazing win and the boys showed some great fight to get back into that position and luck that we got two points,” Sam Curran said.Also Read | Chris Gayle brings good vibes and pranks to Kings XI Punjab dressing room: KL RahulAlso Watch | KXIP bench strength very strong in IPL 2019: KL Rahul