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With over 400 runs being scored, it was a night for batsmen to make merry at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium today. Although he ended up on the winning side, Royal Challenger’s Bangalore pacer Harshal Patel also went for runs as his team successfully defended 215 against the Delhi Daredevils.
The youngster returned with figures of 4-0-33-0 at an economy rate of 8.25. On a night when most bowlers got the stick from the batsmen, Patel, encouraged by Zaheer Khan, braved the onslaught.
Excerpts from his brief interview with iplt20.com:
On the win, which keeps RCB’s playoff hopes alive
It was a very good win and it was a must-win game and we batted superbly. Chris [Gayle] was just outstanding. I have never seen someone bat like this in my career. It was fantastic and it was a solid team effort. We defended 215. It was a superb track to bat on, so we are very happy.
On whether the win against DD earlier in the tournament gave any confidence going into this match
That was [in our] first game of the tournament. After that, a lot of things have happened, so we didn’t remember that match. We were taking it one ball at a time and focusing on that.
On Virat Kohli getting back amongst runs
He was always batting well in the nets. It was just a matter of one good knock. He is someone who can fire at anytime.
On what Zaheer Khan was telling him between deliveries when he was going for runs
Every single ball he comes to me and bucks me up and tells me, “You are doing well, just keep on bowling. Keep on bowling with the same intensity.” He has been great help. On the influence of Zaheer Khan
Everything, whatever I have done well in the IPL is because of Zaheer bhai. He has supported me throughout from the first game till today. So, a big thanks to him.
On particular advise that has helped
He just tells me to keep it simple. Don’t try anything fancy; just let the batsman take the risk and stick to your plan.
On the 400-odd runs being scored on the Feroz Shah Kotla wicket
It was a fantastic track to bat on, and also, the ground is very small. [...]
On sharing the dressing room with legendary bowlers like Anil Kumble, Daniel Vettori and Muttiah Muralitharan
Fantastic! It is a fantastic feeling and I have learnt a lot in the past two months and I am looking forward to winning the IPL.
On whether their next match against the bottom-ranked Deccan Chargers gives them more hope of winning
Definitely. But at the same time, every team is dangerous in the IPL and we have seen this throughout the game. So, we are not complacent, we are just positive and taking it one game at a time.
KXIP all-rounder exudes confidence ahead of must-win match against DD
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Dharamsala 17 May 2012
Considered as also-rans even before the IPL started, Kings XI Punjab have done their bit to make sure they are battle ready after every defeat. Their team might be lacking star names, but their spirit shines bright amongst playoff hopefuls. KXIP’s Pakistan-born all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has been a revelation since he was bought for USD 200,000 in the 2012 IPL Player Auction. With valuable runs and wickets in the IPL so far, Mahmood is proving to be a real bargain buy.
KXIP’s final league match against the Delhi Daredevils is a must-win game. With their backs against the wall, Mahmood and co. have always managed to perform, and the talented all-rounder is confident of turning the Daredevils over in Dharamsala on May 19. Excerpts from the brief chat with KXIP star Azhar Mahmood:
Does the win agsinst the Chennai Super Kings give the team extra motivation to perform against DD?
Beating CSK is a big boost for us. We are playing good cricket and credit goes to all the bowlers. [Parvinder] Awana, PK [Praveen Kumar], [Ryan] Harris and I bowled well. Gilly [Adam Gilchrist] batted brilliantly, and it was a great team performance. We have to win another game and let’s see where we stand after that. How is your debut IPL season going so far?
Its brilliant and I am enjoying my cricket with the bat and the bowl. It’s been a great experience as the crowd is amazing and hospitality as well. I cannot ask for more. How is it playing in the Dharamsala?
It’s my first time here and it’s a brilliant ground and a nice wicket to bowl on. It reminds me of my home town in Islamabad. We have got four club grounds in Islamabad very similar to this. What is it like for you to play for KXIP who are considered to be underdogs?
I am thankful to the franchise and the owners who bid for me and picked me. It does not matter which team I play for, all I want is to perform and people to appreciate that. That is what is happening with me right now and I am quite pleased with that. We are underdogs, still we have managed to beat all the big teams. We always believed in our game and played hard cricket.
What sort of influence has Adam Gilchrist had on you?
He is a phenomenal guy and a great human being. I have got a lot of respect for him. As a player, nobody needs to say anything about him and the way he batted today was brilliant. He was out for six-seven games and he came back with a bang, which shows how good a player he is. What do you think about the must-win game against DD?
Unfortunately, in the last game against them, we were 15 to 20 runs short, but we still managed to take the game to the 19th over with the ball. It was not a bad performance. They have got a good fast bowling side as well. So anything can happen. We are confident and we will have to fight hard and play smart cricket.