I was prepared to pull Johnson: Chawla

KKR spinner recaps the final moments of the thrilling win when his willow did the talking

Bengaluru 02 June 2014
The Pepsi Indian Premier League 2014 Final between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab had the spectators on the edge of their seats as the two teams fought tooth and nail in the high-scoring grand finale. The nerve-racking game ended with the Gautam Gambhir-led side emerging winners with three balls to spare. Piyush Chawla, who came in to bat with 21 required off 18 balls with six wickets down, held his nerves as he helped his team successfully chase down the 200-run target.

He pulled Mitchell Johnson for a six off the last ball of the 19th over to take the team within five runs of the target. He then encouraged Sunil Narine to take a single in the last over and then struck Parvinder Awana over point for four to claim a sensational win.

With the magnitude of his feat still to sink in amid all the celebrations and congratulations, he spoke to about the crucial moments at the end of the big game. 

Excerpts from his interview:

Congratulations! You have won the game with the ball earlier in the tournament and this time with the bat. It has been an all-rounder’s performance from you.

Well, you can say that because I always believed in my batting and even in domestic cricket if someone has scored 4000-plus runs, means he can bat. I just wanted to come in and consolidate here.

How difficult was it to bat towards the end?

Obviously, it was difficult because the situation was such. We lost wickets regularly from the other end. I just wanted to stay calm and knew the victory was one hit away.

Tell us a bit more about that one hit – the six off Mitchell Johnson to take the team within sniffing distance of the win.

I was prepared for the short ball because he had bowled a couple of balls, which came up to me. I was prepared and thought that he might bowl a bouncer to get a dot-ball. So, I was prepared for the pull shot and knew that even if I hit the ball in the gap, with this kind of outfield, I will get a four. But luckily, I middled the ball so well, it went for a six.

What did you tell Sunil Narine when he was to face the last over with five runs required off it?

I just told him put the bat to the ball and take one and rotate the strike.

Although 200 is a chaseable target, what was the feeling in the dugout going into the chase?

Definitely, on this wicket anything is chaseable and we have seen that many times. Earlier, when I was playing for KXIP, we had once chased a 200-plus total. So, I knew on this ground, anything is possible.

How would you sum up KKR’s campaign and today’s win?

It means a lot. We won nine games on the trot and beat all the big sides, so that’s a big thing. I have no words to express it right now. It has been almost 20 minutes since the game got over, but I have still not recovered my breath.

A word on Manish Pandey’s innings.

Amazing! He was due for a big knock for some time because he played well and was getting the starts. But in this game, he showed what adds to the team.
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