Chawla: Bowling on fresh wicket rewarding for Lions

Kolkata Knight Riders legspinner Piyush Chawla said Gujarat Lions got the advantage of bowling on a fresh wicket to secure a five-wicket win in the IPL.

Gautam Gambhir was one of the four top-order wickets to fall that had Knight Riders struggling early in its innings against Gujarat Lions.   -  PTI

Piyush Chawla, the Kolkata Knight Riders legspinner, admitted that Gujarat Lions seamers made good use of the seam movement in the wicket early in the IPL game between the teams on Sunday.

> Report: Lions returns to the top of the table with five-wicket win over Knight Riders

“Wicket was good and maybe because of the last night’s rain it was fresh and seaming a bit during the first innings. They got the advantage of first wicket,” Chawla said after their loss to Gujarat Lions last night. In a splendid display of seam bowling, Praveen Kumar (2 for 19), Dhawal Kulkarni (1 for 30) and Dwayne Smith (1 for 14) reduced Knight Riders to 24 for 4 in 5.5 overs before it recovered to 158 for 4. But the total proved insufficient as the Lions cantered home by five wickets with two overs to spare.

“We lost a few early wickets but recovered well. They batted really well. I don’t think many things went wrong, it’s just that they played better cricket,” Chawla said.

Narine not fully fit

The two-time former champions’ most successful bowler Sunil Narine missed a second match but Chawla blamed it on the offspinner’s injured finger in his bowling hand. “He’s not yet fully fit. He has injury on his spinning finger. We will have to wait.”

Asked whether death bowling was a worry, Chawla said, “First few games, we didn’t bowl well in the death. But in the last game (against King XI) we defended really well. In this game, they just needed run a ball at one point of time and we could not do much. In this format, you're bound to go for a few runs.”

From being at the top of the table, Knight Riders has slipped to third place after the loss and it still has to win two more from four matches to qualify for the playoffs. Chawla chose to count on the positives.

“There’s a lot to take. Shakib batted really well and Yusuf too was hitting well in last few games. He went in a difficult situation and paced his innings really well. It was tremendous to watch.”

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