Woakes: ‘Skipper asked us to show pride, intent’

“The captain asked us to show some intent and some pride. The opening bowlers set the tone for us. From there on, it was just trying to put the ball in right areas,” the 28-year-old Chris Woakes said after the match.

Chris Woakes celebrates after dismissing Royal Challenger Bangalore’s Stuart Binny at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.   -  K. R. Deepak

Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Chris Woakes said his team's new ball bowlers performed exceptionally well to script KKR's amazing 82-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday night.

On KKR defending a total of 131 by bundling out RCB for only 49, Woakes said, “Obviously we were little bit down halfway. We knew we were a little bit under par. But the captain (Gautam Gambhir) asked us to show some intent and pride. The opening bowlers set the tone for us. The fact is that they came out firing, took some early wickets and really got us back in the game. From there on it was just trying to put the ball in right areas.

“Particularly with their batting line-up, if you take the three big guys (Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers) early you have got a chance. After three-four overs we thought we can really turn the screw and win the game and make history. Not often you defend 130, particularly here at the Eden Gardens.”

Elaborating KKR pacers' plan, Woakes said, “That back of the length, maybe top of the stump's length was just perfect on the pitch today. (Nathan) Coulter-Nile and Umesh (Yadav) got to swing the ball up front. When I came on, it did not swing but (there was) a little bit of movement off the length. If you hit it more, it puts the batsmen under pressure especially when wickets are falling around... It actually is a good batting surface. But we bowled quite well on that pitch.”

RCB's Pawan Negi admitted that his team suffered the humiliation of scoring the lowest IPL total (by going below Rajasthan Royals' 58 against RCB in 2009) purely because of its below-par batting. “Our spinners did a great job. Unfortunately, our batting collapsed. There was nothing to do with the pitch,” said Negi.

The Delhi-based all-rounder tried to look at the brighter side of the match. “It (the defeat) is part of the game. One day you do well and on another nothing goes your way. We are taking it in a positive way,” he added.