Pandey: KKR should have scored 200

Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Manish Pandey wanted his side to have scored at least 200 in its IPL game against Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens. Cruising at 163 for 2 after 17 overs, KKR stuttered towards the death overs. In reply, Mumbai Indians reached its target of 188 in the final over.

Manish Pandey scored 52 off 29 balls, with the help of three fours and three sixes.   -  PTI

Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Manish Pandey has said that his side should have posted at least 200 after a rousing start given by his team's top-order batsmen as it lost to defending champion Mumbai Indians by six wickets in its IPL match here.

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“With the way we started, probably we should have got 200. At least myself, Gautibhai (Gautam Gambhir) or Russell should have stayed till the end,” Pandey, who scored an impressive 52 from 29 balls, said at the post match news conference on Wedneday night.

“In the middle overs we were thinking 200, that’s what we were discussing. After I got out, Russell had a decent partnership with the captain. There was a stage when there were new batsmen at both the ends. It’s not easy for any team to have two new batsmen on the crease and go for it. That’s what we lacked a bit,” he said.

Kolkata Knight Riders were cruising at 163 for 2 after 17 overs with half centuries from skipper Gambhir (64 from 52 balls) and Pandey (52 from 29 balls) while Russell had a cameo of 17-ball 36.

Advantage for Mumbai

But Mumbai Indians pulled the contest back, with KKR losing the wickets of Russell, Gambhir and Colin Munro in the last three overs to finish at 187 for 5, a target which the visitors got past in 19.1 overs with captain Rohit Sharma knocking down an unbeaten 84 from 54 balls.

“Batting first you don’t know exactly how many runs you need. On any given day, if you score 180-plus batting first you normally think you would win the game. For any team, it’s a good total,” Pandey said. “The wicket became a little better and it gave a little bit of advantage. I think that’s what Mumbai capitalised on. Now we lost the game we might think we’re 20 runs short.

"Overall it’s a good effort by our team."

“We were banking on our bowlers as we have a good spin attack and some decent fast bowling. But on odd days, you just end up losing such games. You’ve to learn from this and we would do better.”

Narine rested

KKR’s ace spinner Sunil Narine was rested as he had joined the team just the night before the match, Pandey said. “He just came last night, it was a long flight for him. It was good for us to give him a bit of rest. I thought he was not ready because he was travelling.”

Pandey’s knock was a further proof of his new-found confidence after his knock against Australia in Sydney earlier this year where he had whacked 104 not out off 81 balls, his maiden international century in his only fourth ODI.

“I think what I realised in the last couple of months was that staying on the wicket will give me runs. I can’t just go nuts from the first ball. What I’m trying to do now is I look to take a little bit of time, assess the wicket and see what’s happening,” said the 26-year-old batsman.

He said KKR head coach Jacques Kallis had given him the same advice prior to the match.

“That’s what Jacques Kallis was telling me the other day ’even if you have just 10 runs in 10 balls that’s fine, don’t worry, because once you get to know the wicket a little more, you have your shots and you can play all around’ That’s what I was doing and I’ll try and stick to this game plan to be consistent. He does not talk much and likes to give one on ones. This may take my cricket a step ahead.”

Asked about the Eden wicket, he said: “We got 100 in 12 overs. The wicket is playing fairly good. Eden Gardens has always been a decent wicket to bat on and it’s no different this time.”