Kolkata Knight Riders might have lost its sixth game out of nine and put its chances of qualifying for the last four in serious jeopardy, but coach Trevor Bayliss said that he took a lot of “encouragement” from the performance.
“We had a fantastic run chase,” he said. “To chase 200 was a fantastic effort. The boys can walk away from this game with their heads held high.
“From the batting point of view we had our best game all year. We backed ourselves and were still in with a chance with one over to go; couldn’t have asked for more.”
Bayliss still upbeat
When asked if he still had hopes of getting through to the semifinals, the coach remained upbeat. “If we play like tonight, we do,” he said.
“We need to win say six more and last year we proved that. If we can play the rest of the games at this level we definitely can progress.”
The coach also defended the decision to bowl first.
“The wickets have played a lot better than last year. CSK likes chasing. We didn’t bother if we batted first or second.
"It was just to upset their rhythm slightly.”
His Chennai Super Kings (CSK) counterpart Stephen Fleming was effusive in his praise for Michael Hussey.
“It was a great performance. There was some criticism that he scores slowly but he plays to the conditions and has been quite dynamic in the last three games. I can’t speak more highly of him. The influence he has on the team and the way he conducts himself, he is the heart-beat of the batting unit.”
On the Kings’ patchy fielding display, Fleming said: “It can happen. We were under pressure. Bisla was still there and sides field best when they are on the front foot and are dominating.”
He also had some good words for his team’s bowling at the end. “I thought we didn’t respond well between overs 12 and 18. But the last two overs were satisfying. However, the fact that they got so close is still alarming.”
Asked if the team was complacent after posting a huge total, Fleming answered in the negative. “We weren’t complacent. We posted a big score and we knew it was a good wicket and that Kolkata would not roll over. But it’s always good to know that you have something to work on.”