Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opener Rahul Tripathi, who played the match-winning knock of 81 runs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), praised the bowlers for helping them win by 10 runs in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Tripathi with his 57-ball knock was the star of the night. Despite a middle-order collapse, Tripathi’s innings helped Kolkata in posting 167 on the board. His effort with the bat was followed by the KKR bowlers as they restricted CSK to 157/5.

“I think it has been really fun, there has been a belief from everyone in the coaching staff, Abhishek Nayar has worked with us mentally and also in technique and that has helped in remaining positive. When I was not playing, I was enjoying the moment and I was just preparing myself thinking that whenever my moment will come, I will look to contribute for the team,” Tripathi told Varun Chakravarthy in a video posted on iplt20.com.

“My knock has become better because you guys bowled well and we won the game, winning knock changes everything, my knock is good because of the bowling group really bowling well through the middle overs. I was just thinking simple, I was just trying to look at the wicket and time the ball, I was not thinking too much. I was excited to open for KKR and along with Shubman,” he added.

Electing to bat first for the first time since 2015, KKR were off to a commendable start despite losing some early wickets. In-form Gill (11 off 12) was the first one to depart at 37/1 followed by Nitish Rana (9) at 87/2.

However, with Tripathi at the middle, Kolkata looked destined for a big score as they crossed the 100-run mark in the 12th over. Tripathi slammed eight fours and three maximums, until Bravo came in and finally dismissed Tripathi in the 17th over with the help of Shane Watson.