Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wickets against Royal Challengers Bangalore to make a place in Qualifier 2.
WHO SAID WHAT?
Virat Kohli: I think those middle overs where their spinner dominated the game was the difference. They kept bowling in tight areas and kept picking wickets. We had a great start and it was about quality bowling and not bad batting. They thoroughly deserve to win this one and be in the next round. The fight till the end with the ball has been the hallmark of our team. That one big over (22 runs) in the middle deflated our chances. We fought till the last over and made an amazing game out of it. 15 runs less with the bat and a couple of big overs with the ball cost us. Sunil Narine has always been a quality bowler and today he once again showed it. Shakib, Varun and him created pressure and didn’t allow our batsmen to get away in the middle. [On him leaving captaincy at RCB] I have tried my best to create a culture here where youngsters could come in and play with freedom and belief. It is something I have done with India as well. I have given my best. I don’t know how the response has been, but I have given 120% to this franchise every time, which is something I will now do as a player. It is a great time to regroup and restructure for the next three years with people who will take this ahead. [On him staying with RCB] Yes definitely, I don’t see myself playing anywhere else. Loyalty matters more to me than worldly pleasures. I would be in the RCB till the last day I play in the IPL.
Shubman Gill: Big win for us. When we were coming into the second leg not many gave us a chance of qualifying and getting to the playoffs. But the way everyone has played is tremendous and hopefully we will carry on the good form. I didn’t have the best first leg in India but I knew that I was batting well and just a matter of spending time in the middle, that was the conversation with the coach. They (DC) are a really balanced team as we see it and hopefully we will give another cracker of a game. This was our third match here and coming again here we know what to expect from this wicket and I think right now everyone is adjusted to how the pitch plays and the conditions. I think we would have an edge against the Delhi Capitals. The first powerplay was totally against us but the way we came back with Varun and Sunny bowling in the middle overs was tremendous, getting those key wickets and building pressure on them.
Morgan | KKR captain: He makes it look very very easy (Narine). On an improved wicket in Sharjah he bowled outstandingly. Throughout the innings we continued to take wickets post the first six overs. Then in the chase, being in control the whole time doesn’t allow you to breathe as a defending side. Don’t have to do a lot of moving (so many spinners). Huge privilege. When it comes off like that it looks quite strong and deep. The way the wicket played we thought we have to bat quite deep. Onwards and upwards for us. For us it’s a matter of coming back, adjusting and seeing what the wicket does. Looking forward to it. The cricket that we have played and the consistency we have shown has surprised everybody. He’s a true legend of T20 cricket and we’re delighted to have him (Narine).
Narine | Player of the Match: Any good performance in a match-winning game is always good. Today was my day and made the best use of it. All wickets I enjoy. I’m not that close to what I was before but I’m getting there. Hard work is paying off. Always get some heart beats before the game. But cool and calm during the game. Prefer to have the ball in hand which you can control.