Chasing a huge target of 186, Kolkata were looking well out of the contest when they lost their top 4 batsmen with only 69 on the board in the eleventh over.But then 120 runs were scored in the second half of the game, turning the match on its head as Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell steered their side home.
The win was Kolkata’s fifth in eight matches and are now placed at the second position in the table.
“We were not thinking of anything in particular,” said Pathan after the game. “We knew if we stuck around and played our shots, the target will not be too difficult to chase. At one point, when I was setting myself up, Russell played really well, taking the pressure off me. So that was very important that we played for each other.”
Before this match, the middle order of Kolkata had not done match and as a result despite getting a good foundation from the openers they failed to score big. But the middle order came to the party just at the right time to take their side home. Now that the tournament
has entered its business end,the performance of Yusuf and Russell will surely lift the confidence of KKR.
“It was an important thing for us, since you know when opening batsmen do well, the middle order gets very little time in the middle. The batsmen batting in the middle and lower order feel the pressure of not getting much opportunities. But a good thing for us is now everyone is clicking. In the coming matches, this will give us great confidence,” Pathan said.
“We are professional cricketers and we know that when we play in Kolkata, our openers might play 15 overs and we might not get a chance to bat at all, but in the knockouts, if we qualify, our services might be needed again. So yes, we are a confident unit now, and ready to face any situation.”
One of the main reasons for KKR’s success in the recent past has been captain Gautam Gambhir’s immense faith in his players.
Praising him the right-hander said Gambhir always backs them and that motivates the players to give their best on the field. He also had some words of praise for KKR’s coaching staff and said that the coaches remain involved in every moment of the game.
“Gambhir is a very good captain and he believes in, and backs his players under any situation,” Pathan said.
“If you noticed today, Piyush (Chawla) gave away some runs early on in his first two overs, but Gambhir trusted him and gave him the ball again. And see, he (Chawla) picked up wickets later on. It is important for us players that your captain backs you all the time. The coaches we have also play a big role in keeping us motivated. All the coaches are in the dugout when we are batting and are always involved,” he concluded.