Bangalore, Apr 18: Pune Warriors India wicketkeeper-batsman Robin Uthappa felt that the brilliant innings of 81 by Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Chris Gayle set up the chase for AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary to win the match off the last ball.
Chris Gayle, who struggled at the start, smashed a 48-ball 81 to chase down a target of 183. After Gayle's dismissal, Saurabh Tiwary (36*) and AB de Viliiers (33*) took the game right down the wire to give RCB a much-needed victory.
"AB and Saurabh played out of their skins to get required 21 runs in last over. But I thought it was well set up by Gayle," said Uthappa at post-match press conference.
Uthappa feels that Pune were 15 runs short after a good start."The whole team thought we were 10-15 runs short as Bangalore is known for good batting track. If a team had wickets till the end, it could surely reach the target."
Uthappa said that Pune Warriors had planned to restrict Gayle, as they knew his ability to change the game in an over or two, but by that time the damage was already done.
"It was important for us to keep Gayle off the strike for as long as possible and try giving singles to push him to the non-strikers end. We did get him but by then he had done the damage," said Uthappa.
Uthappa said, though they have lost the game, they would not let the loss affect them. He also credited bowlers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Ashok Dinda for restricting RCB till the end.
"In the tournament like this you are going to lose a few games. But you should not allow defeat enter your psyche and bog you down," he insisted.
"I thought our bowlers did well to restrict them till the last over on a very good batting wicket. They are pretty seasoned domestic cricketers and make opportunities count," he added.
After four consecutive victories, Ganguly and Co suffered their first defeat in this season's IPL. Warriors take on second placed Delhi Daredevils at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune on Tuesday April 24.