Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan conceded that the successful run chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday was a tricky one but said his much-improved side adapted well to win the match and keep their IPL play-offs hopes alive.
KKR beat SRH by six wickets, riding on young Shubman Gill’s fine 57 after an impressive display by the bowlers. The win consolidated KKR’s position at the fourth place in the standings with 12 points from 13 games.
“Yes the chase was tricky. I thought it was sluggish if anything. The wicket is one thing but you need to adapt to conditions — bowl well, field well. We did that well, vast improvement from two days ago,” Morgan said.
“(Shubhman) Gill was very good. (Shakib) Massive. To have the strength and depth to call upon an experienced campaigner like him is a luxury. He’s had a huge impact today.
“As a group, nearly two years ago, we thought we’d play in India. And since then we’ve just been countering that.”
Morgan said having missed out a place in the play-offs last year, he has a reasonable squad to achieve that target this season
“We are focused on playing good cricket. We’ve played really really good cricket – attitude, implementation of game plan.”
Player of the Match Gill said it was important to keep wickets in hand early and then go for runs towards the end.
“You see the wicket and then you choose your match up. To hit spinners on this surface isn’t easy. I was targeting the shorter side mostly,” Gill said.
“I didn’t have much runs under my belt. And if you play one bad shot in a low-scoring game the opposition can come back. So the batsman needs to try and take the game home.
“When you play in North India, wickets are not as bouncy. You play with the wrists a lot. So I use them a lot. Umran Malik was definitely quick.”
Dinesh Karthik, who remained not out on 18 off 12 balls and hit the winning runs, said they knew the run chase would be slightly tricky.
“We were at a stage when I could play my shots when I walked in. It was good that (Nitish) Rana did not try to match Gill shot by shot. Fingers crossed.”
His side already out of the tournament, SRH captain Kane Williamson said the target for his side after opting to bat was 150 but could not do so due to lack of partnerships.
“When we got to the last 3-4 overs with the bat, we wanted to have a crack and get 150. Hindsight is beautiful, honestly we wish we had some partnerships,” Williamson said.
“That’s part and parcel of the game – trying to identify what a competitive total will be.”
He conceded it was a tough job to defend a low total.
“We’ve been working hard and it just hasn’t been paying off. We’ve been facing Malik in the nets – he’s special, lots of pace. Young guy runs in and goes hard.”