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Akshay Manwani in Kolkata 06 May 2012 - 12:20am IST

The atmosphere was great: de Lange

KKR all-rounder says it was a challenge to play in front of packed Eden Gardens

After conceding as many as 36 runs in his first game for the Kolkata Knight Rideres, Marchant de Lange had to sit on the sidelines. The tall South African all-rounder could only watch as his team eventually hit the winning road and strung together a series of impressive victories. His side registered a seven-run win against the Pune Warriors India tonight, which put them in the second spot in the 2012 IPL standings. de Lange, who made his return to the KKR playing XI today in place of Brett Lee and picked up three wickets, played a crucial role in setting up the win at the Eden Gardens.

iplt20.com caught up with de Lange at the end of the match to find out how the all-rounder felt to make his way back into the playing XI for such a high-profile encounter.

This was just your second game of the tournament, but you seemed to be in perfect rhythm?

It went well. I really enjoyed it. It was quite a challenge. I must tell you, it was a great atmosphere.

Speaking of the atmosphere, were you surprised by the crowd supporting PWI?

I think it was one man [Sourav Ganguly] they supported, but the rest of the support was for KKR. It was awesome. Bit of pressure, but I enjoyed it.

What was the talk in the changing room after you had stumbled from 98 for no loss in 10 overs to 150 for five at the end of 20 overs?

Just sticking to the basics. Taking it ball-by-ball. Dot balls were crucial, so that was the focus.

Would this game also reinforce the notion that bowling is KKR’s bigger strength?

I won’t actually say that. I think it is an overall performance, both with the bat and ball. I think we have got a great team, a great vibe. There are a lot of up and coming guys. They fill up the shoes.

You got to play today after a long break. How has the KKR staff supported you in this period?

It’s been awesome. I was enjoying it. I was training a lot, just doing the basics. There was really a lot of support from the guys and I was taking it game-by-game.

You have five league games left. Another couple of wins should see you through to the playoffs. Will KKR look to experiment in these remaining matches?

I think we’ll go game-by-game. We can’t say [that we’ll make it to the playoffs]. There are still five games left, so we’ll see how it goes.

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