Hyderabad: Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Suryakumar Yadav feels it is the collective effort and focus on performing well in atleast two departments that has helped his team extend its winning streak to 11 matches.
Yadav blasted a six and a four in his 5-ball 14-run cameo to help Kolkata snatch a four-wicket win in the last over of the game last night in the Oppo Champions League and the Mumbaikar said he was confident of pulling off the victory.
“Winning in the last over is, obviously, not an easy game. We lost wickets in the last few overs. But, I feel there wasn’t any pressure on me. Because, we needed a run a ball and it was not that difficult for us to finish the game,” he told reporters in the post-match press conference late last night.
Kolkata Knight Riders chased down the target of 152 in the last over to register their second victory in the tournament. The IPL champions had won nine matches on the trot, including the final of the 2014 edition.
“We can say lucky (the Hyderabad ground). But, we have been playing good cricket since IPL. This is 11th win in a row. We played well here earlier too. We did well against Deccan (Chargers) here (in IPL). You can say lucky and good team effort as well,” Yadav said.
Asked about the team’s shortcomings in fielding, he said the team’s performance in the areas often compensate for the lacunae, if any, in fielding.
“We are making full efforts in all departments. (If) fielding was not good, there is a good and bad day for every team. But, we backed it up with good batting. We try to win by doing well in two departments at least in two departments. We cleared it that way and won the match,” he said.
Yadav expressed happiness over his performance in the match.
“It feels very nice. I felt more happy because I finished a match for KKR for the first time. Playing against international level bowlers was a good experience,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lahore Lions skipper Mohammed Hafeez said his team needs to improve its fielding though the batting and bowling have been good.
“One of the big area (for improvement) is our fielding. I think, as a team, we are doing well in batting. We are doing well in bowling. The one area we have to improve is our fielding. There is no doubt,” Hafeez said.
Replying to a query, he said the CLT20 has provided a platform for the inexperienced players in the team to learn competitive cricket.
“Definitely, this (inexperienced players) is an area (for improvement). The more they play, the more they will learn. This platform (CLT20) is giving them all they wanted to and it can give them real idea on where they are and where they have to improve.
“Still, we believe that the way they are showing their talent on the field, it is very good. Still, we have to do well as a fielding unit. Today, I think Ahmed Shezad’s innings, we wanted him to score runs. Umar Akmal also played a good innings. But, as a team, we have to raise the standard of fielding,” he said.
About seven-eight players in the Lahore Lions side lacked international exposure, Hafeez had said earlier. Shezad made 59 runs in 42 balls and Umar Akmal scored 40 runs in 24 balls in the match last night.
Replying to a query, Hafeez said the 100-run partnership between Captain Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa took the game away from them.
They (Kolkata) played well. There is no doubt. They are experienced in this format. They managed to get the advantage and they were rotating the strike well. That partnership really took the game away from us,” he said.
“But, as I said, there were couple of chances, we could have taken that. It could have been a different story. But I believe that, as a team, our bowling is our strength. They have done a good job today. But as I said, the one area we have to improve is our fielding,” he said.