Mumbai, May 19: Rinku Singh almost did the unthinkable for Kolkata Knight Riders as his hard-fought heroics went in vain as Lucknow Super Giants edged out a thrilling 2-run victory on Wednesday at DY Patil Stadium.

Singh played a valiant knock of 40 off 15 balls when the chips were down but Marcus Stoinis held his nerves in the final over to guide his team over the finishing line. Rinku’s innings comprised of 2 boundaries and as many as 4 sixes. After his failed attempt, he was seen in tears as the Knight Riders had to digest a 2-run loss and elimination from the competition.

The left-hander said that the last five years of his career have been challenging, but he didn’t lose self-belief during his injury times. The batter from Aligarh said that his father didn’t eat for 2-3 days when he heard about his injury.

“I wasn’t happy staying away from cricket for so long. My father didn’t eat for 2-3 days. I told him it’s just an injury and it’s part of cricket. I’m the sole breadwinner of my life and when such things happen, it is bound to be worrisome,” Singh said on a video uploaded on KKR’s official Facebook page.

“Those 5 years were really tough for me. After the first year, when I was picked for KKR and I got a chance to play, I couldn’t perform well. Still, KKR trusted me a lot and they retained me for the next couple of seasons,” he added.

Born on October 12, 1997 in Aligarh, Rinku was picked by Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2017 but failed to get a chance. He was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 auction for Rs 80 lakh. He remained with KKR till 2021 when he was ruled out of IPL due to a knee injury and was later replaced by Gurkeerat Singh Mann.

Though he did not get a chance to play, his superb work ethics, friendly nature and desire to contribute to the team in any manner endeared him to the franchise and KKR again bought him in February this year for IPL 2022.

“I trained hard the way my body language is. The team never thought I was down. Last year was quite tough for me as I got a knee injury during the Vijay Hazare Trophy while running a double. The moment I fell, I thought of the IPL. They told me I needed an operation and would require 6-7 months to recover.

“I was a bit sad, but I knew I would recover quickly as I had a lot of self-belief,” the southpaw added.

(With Inputs From IANS)