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KKR bowlers were confident defending 140: Gambhir

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Published: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 16:27 [IST]
 
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Gambhir praises bowlers for crucial win

Mumbai, May 17: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir said his bowlers were confedent of defending the 140-run total in their IPL 5 clash against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede stadium.

Mumbai Indians lost wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out for 108 in 19.1 overs. Bowlers helped KKR clinch a crucial 32-run victory to edge closer to play-offs.

West Indies spin sensation Sunil Narine troubled Mumbai at crucial points of the game. A triple-strike from Jacques Kallis and Narine knocked out Mumbai's all-round Windies duo Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith. Laxmipathy Balaji (2 for 11) added more firepower to demolish Mumbai batsmen.

"We always felt 140-145 would be a good total. We had three quality spinners and the quality in bowling to contain them," Gambhir said.

Gambhir lauded all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan's bowling effort in the first six overs.

"The way Shakib and Abdulla bowled was fantastic. The way Shakib bowled the first two overs out of the first six set up the game for us," he added.

Gambhir and Co have virtually sealed a play-off berth ahead of their round robin match against struggling Pune Warriors on May 19 in Pune.

Gambhir said the Knight Riders aim to finish in the top two in the points table, "It was a fine win, but we have a long way to go. It was a must-win game for us.

"Hopefully we can be a little relaxed, try to express ourselves more in the next game and finish among the top two, which gives us two cracks in the play-offs, which is very important.

"Last time we had one bad day in the play-off and were out of the tournament. Hopefully we can win the next game and finish in the top two which gives us two opportunities," Gambhir said.

Meanwhile, losing skipper Harbhajan Singh urged his side to sort out batting failures upfront.

"I don't think there was much fault in the wicket, I think we need to sort out our technique and how to bat in the first six overs," he said.

"We haven't been playing great cricket. Boys need to pick up their game." Harbhajan insisted.

Narine, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his match winning figures of 15/4, said, "I'm having a dream at this moment, hard work is paying off. Hopefully it will continue," he said.

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