Chawla's spell brought us back into the game: Gilchrist

Kolkata: Buoyed by his team's two run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League match here Sunday, Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist said leg-spinner Piyush Chawla's spell brought his side back into the game.

Chawla (3-18) picked up vital wickets as the Knights - cruising at 73/2 in reply to the Kings' 134/9 - lost their way, and despite a late flourish from Debabrata Das, lost the match at the Eden Gardens.

Asked about the turning point of the match, Gilchrist said: "There are quite a few of them. The partnerships towards the end, followed by (Piyush) Chawla's spell - these are some of the factors determining the result."

"In other words, it was Chawla's spell that brought us back in contention."

Gilchrist said his team put up a "pretty committed performance."

"The belief was certainly there although we're still a few runs short. But if you persist with such belief and commitment, you won't be able to imagine how lucky you can get."

Having set the Knights a 135-run target, he said the first six overs of the KKR innings were crucial "as we had to set it up".

"Then dot balls here and there with wickets in regular intervals and restricting the boundaries towards the end eventually served our purpose," he said.

Gilchrist also praised Praveen Kumar and Harmeet Singh for the two final overs.

Refering to the penultimate over bowled by Praveen, he said "Praveen is a quality bowler. He knew what he had to do and just when required, executed his plans remarkably well. Besides, not many occasions in the past have we seen him being hit and taken for plenty."

With the KKR needing only 13 runs in the final two overs, Praveen conceded only four in the 19th over to brighten the Kings' chances.

Bowling the 20th over, Harmeet picked up the wicket of Ryan ten Doeschate and conceded only six runs to stop KKR short of their needed score.

"Harmeet bowled a brilliant line having held his nerves," he said.

Gilchrist said he opted to bat first despite being well aware that it was KKR's policy to bat second as it was always difficult to hit the winning runs. "We all know it is KKR's policy as Gautam (Gambhir) himself is fond of chasing. Now at the same time, putting runs on the board is crucial. Regardless of the condition and the total, hitting the winning runs is always difficult." (IANS)