As former 2-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) blamed their bowlers following their 4-wicket loss against Gujarat Lions (GL), in Match 23 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 at the historic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on Friday, Gujarat coach Sitanshu Kotak instead praised his bowlers for coming up with a fine performance with the ball. He praised his bowlers for doing a fine job to restrict Kolkata under a total of 200, which at one point seemed inevitable, especially following Sunil Narine’s dynamic opening start, as he scored 42 off just 19 deliveries, including nine boundaries and a six.It was Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina, who got his crucial wicket, followed by a decent bowling performance by the other bowlers. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat Lions, IPL 2017, Match 23 at Eden Gardens
“When they were 44 in three overs, the first thing [that] we were thinking was to see through the Powerplay because we knew he [Thampi] had three overs left, Jamie Faulkner had, and before the first break, we thought in the middle, we needed to bowl quite a few yorkers. On this wicket, we knew that he [Thampi] can literally bowl each and every delivery [a yorker], and he tried some slowers one too. It was a must win game for us, like in the pre-match conference I had said, we had no choice but to win this,” said Sitanshu Kotak, as reported by IANS. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat Lions, IPL 2017, Match 23 at Eden Gardens
“The bowlers executed [the plans] really well from the under-pressure situations. Raina bowled two fantastic overs, one wicket and 10 runs. We knew we had bowlers [who] could stop players like Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan. It wasn’t easy and I think they did a fantastic job,” he added.
Meanwhile, Basil Thampi said that he had practiced bowling yorkers with the tennis balls, which led to his perfection. “I got my yorkers from tennis ball cricket. I came here before the tournament, we had good practice sessions. I worked with my coaches and they gave good confidence to me, as well as my captain. I didn’t have any [real] pressure to execute, that’s the big thing. It’s a fantastic feeling because the last couple of games, we didn’t do well. In fact we did well but on the matter of day, we didn’t execute it [our plans] well. We needed one good win, we got it today, so we are very happy to be there,” he said.