In the recent past, Kolkata Knight Riders has made Eden Gardens their fortress as they rarely loose in that ground. The turning Eden pitch suits the team’s style of play perfectly and the KKR team makes the most of it. On Sunday, KKR welcomed Gujarat Lions at Eden Gardens and had the chance to strengthen their position in the league table. However, Gujarat Lions handed them a five-wicket defeat which saw KKR falling down to the third position.
The game was quite one-sided as Gujarat Lions dominated the game right from the start, but KKR spinner Piyush Chawla said that they will take the positives from the game.
Kolkata was reeling at 24-4 in the sixth over, but then a record unbeaten partnership of 134 for the fifth wicket between Shakib al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan helped them to post a respectable total of 158.
“The way Shakib and Yusuf batted (was a big positive),” said Chawla after the game. “Yusuf has been hitting really well as we have seen in the last few games. In this game, he went in a difficult situation. He paced the really well and the way he batted was really tremendous to watch.
“We lost a few early wickets, but then recovered really well to post 158. I don’t think many things went wrong, it’s just that they played better cricket.”
Talking about the pitch which assisted seamers early on, Chawla said that the pitch was fine but the last night’s rain made the difference.
“Wicket was really good,” he said. “Because of last night’s rain, it was seaming a bit in the start. Their bowlers bowled really well and got the advantage of a fresh wicket.”
Pravin Kumar who bowled brilliantly in the powerplay also expressed his surprise on the wicket.
“There was some juice in the wicket early on,” he pointed out. “There was a bit of grass, not green grass but enough to help the bowlers. We bowled in the right areas and we also got wickets early on so that made the difference.
“I was surprised to see this wicket. We came here with the mindset of playing on a rank turner. It was double-paced as well.”