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Royal Challengers Bangalore all-rounder says team is beginning to hit its stride
By Akshay Manwani
Mohali 21 April 2012
Having had a slow start to the tournament, where they lost three of their first four games, the Royal Challengers Bangalore now seem to be getting back on the winning track. They registered their second successive victory of the tournament against the Kings XI Punjab on Friday night. The star of RCB’s win was Chris Gayle, who once again left the opposition stunned with a 56-ball 87 that helped his team overcome a wobbly start (25 for three in 5.1 overs) and post a five-wicket win while chasing a score of 163. Andrew McDonald, who replaced Tillakaratne Dilshan in the RCB playing XI for this game, spoke of Gayle’s sensational innings in an exclusive interview with iplt20.com
After the initial setbacks, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers played brilliantly to bring you back in this game.
They both are fantastic individual players. Chris and AB both have a found a bit of form. The batting unit joined together nicely and we had quite a good result with the ball as well today. We’re starting to get the wheels in motion and starting to put some good performances together. And anytime Chris bats like that, we will be on the winning side. It’s fantastic to watch him bat.
You said it was a good all-round performance, but didn’t you give away too many runs at the end – 93 in the last 10 overs?
That can happen in a game of cricket. The pressure was on them to score. Azhar Mahmood finished the innings really, really well. The plans that we tried didn’t quite work, so next time we will come up with better plans. I think when the game is set up like that for someone like Azhar Mahmood to come in at the last four overs, the overs are going to be expensive at the end. But we did some good work early to make sure it wasn’t a 180-190 score. That’s the whole package of 20 overs; there are going to be some expensive overs at the backend of the innings and sometimes at the frontend. It’s just a matter of containing it when it does happen.
Don’t you think not having a sixth bowler also hurt you a bit at the end?
There is a sixth option. Chris is finding his fitness and he gives us an option with the ball. Dan [Daniel Vettori] decided not to use him today. I thought the bowling group, as a package, did a fantastic job to maintain 160 on that wicket, which, probably at the start, wasn’t a 160 wicket. But the way it played, it was a pretty good track. So, we’ve still got some options up our sleeve. Obviously, we would like Chris to be bowling, and once he starts bowling it adds a sixth bowler to the group. I suppose you could call it a concern [not having a sixth option today], but if we can keep most teams to 160, we will go a long way in winning the games.
Was this the ideal Twenty20 wicket as it had something for both the bowlers and the batsmen?
It’s a fantastic ground. This is the first time I have ever played here. The outfield is lightning and the wicket has good pace. There is a bit of bounce in it, a bit of grass, a bit of movement for the new ball bowlers. It’s a good cricket wicket.
You now play Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on April 23. You lost to them on April 15 by 59 runs. Will you return the favour this time?
Hopefully. They found a bit of form early in the tournament. I think they play Chennai [Super Kings] tomorrow. I’m not sure what’s going to happen there. If we can get a win on the road [that would be great]; the road trips are the most difficult. We had four games at the start in Bengaluru and probably didn’t capitalize on that. If we can pinch a few away wins, that will go a long way in getting those eight or nine wins to making it to the top four. Hopefully, we will roll over Rajasthan and get two from two on the road.
Kings XI Punjab spinner lauds team’s bowling effort despite loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore
By Akshay Manwani
Mohali 21 April 2012
Despite putting up a much-improved performance, Kings XI Punjab stumbled to yet another defeat in the DLF IPL 2012 when they lost by five wickets to the Royal Challengers Bangalore. After putting up a score of 163 for six, their best score of IPL 2012, the hosts were well and truly on top when they had the visitors reeling at 25 for three in the sixth over. However, a belligerent 131-run stand between Chris Gayle (87) and AB de Villiers (52) eventually took the game away from KXIP, and the Mohali franchise lost its fourth game of the competition. Piyush Chawla, who finished with figures of 4-0-21-1 on the evening, nevertheless lauded the performance of his team’s bowling unit in an exclusive interview with iplt20.com
Chris Gayle took the game away with his fantastic knock?
Obviously. But the way our guys bowled to start with, otherwise the way he generally bats – like today, he batted till almost the 18th over. Generally, if he bats till the 18th over, the match does not go on for that long. I think it was a terrific effort by our bowlers today.
Would it be fair to say that KXIP missed a trick by not playing Dimitri Mascarenhas?
Well, no. I don’t think so. Azhar [Mahmood] did a really good job, so I really can’t say that.
Speaking of Azhar Mahmood, his addition to the side was a big plus for KXIP in this game.
Obviously. He has got tons of experience of behind him. He has played a lot of T20 cricket all over the world. You just saw, in the very first game, the way he batted for our team and the way he bowled [he was really good].
A word about Parvinder Awana’s performance.
He bowled really well. For a newcomer, who is playing just his second or third game [second], obviously he was very good. How different was David Hussey as captain compared to Adam Gilchrist?
David had just one game; [it’s] too early to say anything.