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After disappointing their fans at the Eden Gardens with a loss against the Delhi Daredevils in their first game of DLF IPL 2012, the Kolkata Knight Riders won their second consecutive game by beating the Rajasthan Royals in front of their home crowd. In what was a low-scoring contest between the two sides, KKR chased down RR’s total of 131 for five in 19.2 overs with five wickets to spare. Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine were the chief architects of the home team’s victory. While Shakib walked away with Man-of-the-match honours for his all-round performance (4-0-17-3 and 16 off 10 balls), Narine also contributed strongly by posting economical figures of 4-0-22-1.
Narine spoke to iplt20.com in an exclusive interview following the match:
Congratulations on the victory. With two consecutive wins, the team must be feeling good now?
Yes. Coming into the tournament, losing the first two games and then coming back and winning the next two games could be considered a stepping stone. Hopefully, we can continue winning. Do you think it would have been better for Rajasthan to have batted second on this kind of wicket?
Yes. It was good to get the better of the wicket. Our batsmen adapted pretty well, they came out and delivered the goods. Your first over went for 10 runs, but you came back strongly, conceding just 12 runs and taking one wicket in your next three overs. What did you do differently when you were brought back?
My team required plenty from me. I just came out there, tried to do it for my team and looked to bowl in the good areas. Shakib Al Hasan was sent ahead of Yusuf Pathan and Ryan ten Doeschate in the batting order. Is that because KKR wanted to keep the right-hand/left-hand combination going with Manoj Tiwary out in the middle?
Yes, probably. It wasn’t a bad decision to change the combination. It worked for us.
You came into the spotlight after your performance at CLT20 2011. How different is the IPL from that tournament?
This has a lot more crowd [following it]. But the cricket that you have to play is the same and [in that regard] there isn’t much difference.
And are you enjoying your first experience of the IPL?
1 Kings XI Punjab registered their first win against Pune Warriors India in four attempts. This was also their first win of IPL 2012.
2 Number of times Pune Warriors India have been bowled out in 16 innings in IPL. The other such instance was when PWI were dismissed for 118 against Mumbai Indians in 2011.
2 Dimitri Mascarenhas (five for 25) became the second bowler to take a five-wicket haul in IPL 2012 after Chennai Super Kings’ Ravindra Jadeja. His figures are also the best by a Kings XI Punjab bowler in IPL.
5 Number of run outs Sourav Ganguly has been involved in. Interestingly, Ganguly’s partners were run out on four of these occasions while Ganguly perished just once.
11 Number of times a captain has decided to field first after winning the toss in 14 games in IPL 2012.
13 Number of 50-plus scores made by Shaun Marsh in 30 innings – a fifty every 2.3 innings on an average.
64 Shaun Marsh’s score – the highest by any Kings XI Punjab batsmen in IPL 2012.