Kolkata v Chennai, IPL 2012, final, Chennai May 27, 2012

We did it for Balaji - Gambhir

ESPNcricinfo staff
48

Manvinder Bisla, who had played one IPL game in the last month, played the final only because Kolkata Knight Riders were forced to rejig their combination, after L Balaji failed to recover from a hamstring injury. To accommodate a second fast bowler in Brett Lee, Brendon McCullum sat out, and Bisla was brought in to keep wicket and open the batting. He went on to score a career-best 89 off 48 balls, "one of the best Twenty20 innings" Gautam Gambhir had seen, and led Knight Riders to their maiden IPL title in their fifth attempt.

Chasing 191 on Chennai's home turf, Knight Riders were in early trouble when Gambhir fell in the first over. Bisla, however, began to ease the pressure immediately and did not stop. "It was one of the best Twenty20 innings I've seen," Gambhir said after the game. "Especially under pressure [against the] defending champions in their backyard, in conditions that suit them, getting 90 odd in 40 off balls shows his character."

Before the final, Bisla had played only six matches this season. He had begun with 46 but was dropped after his form tapered off and Knight Riders were tinkering to find their preferred combination. Today his selection was forced and he put on 136 runs with Jacques Kallis in 13.4 overs.

"I don't think I have hit as well, good to play this in the finals to help win it for my team," a composed Bisla said as victory celebrations broke out around him. "There was no plan, wanted to go out there to enjoy after Gambhir got out. I felt a little tense but after getting one or two to the fence, I got the confidence. Kallis is a legend, batting along side him was a great opportunity, he asked me to keep it simple and get going."

Through the tournament Knight Riders relied on Gambhir to lead the batting and on Sunil Narine to spearhead the bowling. Today they were forced to find other performers after Narine went for 0 for 37, his most expensive IPL figures, and Gambhir fell for 2.

"It was a team effort, a captain is only as good as his team, this has been my stand throughout," Gambhir said. "A successful team makes a captain, a successful captain doesn't make a team. I always said, if we play to potential, we can't be beaten. There were a lot of questions asked about the middle order not clicking. I always had a strong belief that it would click at the right time."

At the post-match press conference, Gambhir said the late cameos from Manoj Tiwary and Shakib Al Hasan played a critical role. "It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish. Those cameos from Manoj and Shakib won the game for us."

Among the people most relieved with his team's win, Gambhir said, was the co-owner Shah Rukh Khan. "He's been a great owner. Not even once in this entire tournament has he put any pressure on the team, and he hasn't interfered in any of the cricketing matters. That's the kind of owner you want."

Gambhir also had praise for Balaji, who was a vital cog in their bowling attack, taking 11 wickets in eight games with an economy of 5.40, before missing the final. "Bala is the unsung hero, he's been brilliant all through. We were playing for him. Missing such an important game in front of his home crowd was always disappointing, but it was very satisfying winning it for him.

"Only one word comes to mind, mission accomplished."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 30, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Gambhir is a no-nonsense cricketer. It is a great gesture by him to mention Balaji in the post match speak. Unlike Dhoni, I thought those words more came from the heart.

  • praveen4honestremark on May 29, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    I am feeling excited to watch Bisla again play good knocks and come into Indian ODI team soon as opening batsman and also as Bisla is keeper he can help Dhoni at times if Dhoni feels overloaded with work; and moreover Bisla is looking like a real team player, even if he don't keep wickets it's ok..just as opener he is perfect for opening, should be selected for T20 starting in Srilanka. Gambhir should be replaced with Bisla .Bisla as a opener i feel can replace Gambhir quite easily. I am not saying based on this single performance. I am just saying looking at Bisla attitude and Character which is far good than Gambhir and Sehwag... Hope selection committee is looking this message and sack Gambhir to replace with Bisla, believe me it's best choice and not risk.Selection committee select Bisla. Dhoni, please push Bisla for selection ahead of Gambhir in T20 world cup.Gambhir is arrogant too. And also try a replacement for Sehwag soon, Sehwag's attitude is costing team a lot.

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 28, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Congratulations to KKR. But the arrogance in the KKR dressing room was evident for all to see. There was no HUMBLENESS in victory. Shame on KKR and their owner SRK who thinks cricket is a bollywood movie. CSK to me will always be a champion team simply cause they are lead by the MASTER of CAPTAINS and a true gentleman in MS Dhoni. It's sad to see how so many Indians forget the contributions of Dhoni to make India world champions in T20 and 50 over world cups. Plus Dhoni is the captain of 2 time IPL champions CSK and Champions League winner. Gautam has MILES to go before he can even think of becoming like Dhoni.

  • Alexk400 on May 28, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    congrats to KKR. Good players makes a captain. Partially true. You still need decent captain. A captain like sehwag makes stragic and tactical error won't make good captain even if he had all stars playing under him. There is a reason DD has long tail for past 5 seasons. Team plays like their captain and did n't care. if captain cares , players care. Bisla won the game for KKR. 190 is too tough to score unless someone clicks big time. That too first wicket falls way early and bisla kept them in game. And Bad luck on last ball of penultimate over cost CSK the cup. 16 in last over impossible for Tiwary and sakib to make.

  • SamiraH on May 28, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    The last ball of the 19th over in the KKR innings turned this match around. That was indeed a nerveless shot by Shakib Al Hasan.

  • LifenCricket on May 28, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Great IPL win for KKR ! One thing though, what's this team game, and not individual game theory of Gautam Gambhir all about. The only thing in any interview regardless of the question he says is it is a team game and individuals do not matter, Captain is as good a s his team and not the vice versa ?? On the other he contradicted himself by saying he won the final for balaji. why dedictaing a 18 match tournament to one injured player. In due respect to balaji ( he is a good player), isnt this belittling the effort of the entire team which by the way are composed of individuals??? And now y dedicate the win to only one player? where is the team?

  • Percy_Fender on May 28, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    Gautam Gambhir is ready for the captaincy in probably all formats of the game since he has the game for all three.That is of course if Dhoni is keen on stepping down.In fact he has a good rcord of captaining India in ODIs I think.Apart from that observation,I think it is time that wickets be made to make it equal between bat and ball. As a long time cricket watcher,I must say that I found the final quite boring and one dimensional.This is something they should ensure in the next edition of the IPL.Cricket will be the gainer if we can have sporting wickets for all games without any exception.Much as well as Bisla and others played, I cannot think of any bowler who really made a mark.Not even Hilfenhaus with his fast swing.I am not sure how much Rajiv Shukla himself really knows about cricket but he has a cricket committee to turn to for advice.This IPL was much better than the earlier ones in terms of cricket.It is in his powers to make the IPL a brand synonymous with quality in cricket

  • Hayat22 on May 28, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    If somebody had said before the match begun, that the match at Chennai, would be won by a team chasing a mammoth total, and none of the usual suspects from either of the starting XIs would get the man of the match, the predictor would have been laughed at. But this is what happened! Amazing, and glorious are the uncertainities of cricket, as they say!

  • on May 28, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    narine, balaji n gambhir who took to the final then bisla's blast innings took the trophy

  • on May 28, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    Congrats Gambir & Team, You deserve the win , hope to see you as captain of Indian team. Gambir & Rahul Dravid are the genuine captains of all forms of cricket (T20, ODI & Test Match). Gambir is aggressive and Dravid is more of a Mentor. Cheers...

  • on May 30, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Gambhir is a no-nonsense cricketer. It is a great gesture by him to mention Balaji in the post match speak. Unlike Dhoni, I thought those words more came from the heart.

  • praveen4honestremark on May 29, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    I am feeling excited to watch Bisla again play good knocks and come into Indian ODI team soon as opening batsman and also as Bisla is keeper he can help Dhoni at times if Dhoni feels overloaded with work; and moreover Bisla is looking like a real team player, even if he don't keep wickets it's ok..just as opener he is perfect for opening, should be selected for T20 starting in Srilanka. Gambhir should be replaced with Bisla .Bisla as a opener i feel can replace Gambhir quite easily. I am not saying based on this single performance. I am just saying looking at Bisla attitude and Character which is far good than Gambhir and Sehwag... Hope selection committee is looking this message and sack Gambhir to replace with Bisla, believe me it's best choice and not risk.Selection committee select Bisla. Dhoni, please push Bisla for selection ahead of Gambhir in T20 world cup.Gambhir is arrogant too. And also try a replacement for Sehwag soon, Sehwag's attitude is costing team a lot.

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 28, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Congratulations to KKR. But the arrogance in the KKR dressing room was evident for all to see. There was no HUMBLENESS in victory. Shame on KKR and their owner SRK who thinks cricket is a bollywood movie. CSK to me will always be a champion team simply cause they are lead by the MASTER of CAPTAINS and a true gentleman in MS Dhoni. It's sad to see how so many Indians forget the contributions of Dhoni to make India world champions in T20 and 50 over world cups. Plus Dhoni is the captain of 2 time IPL champions CSK and Champions League winner. Gautam has MILES to go before he can even think of becoming like Dhoni.

  • Alexk400 on May 28, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    congrats to KKR. Good players makes a captain. Partially true. You still need decent captain. A captain like sehwag makes stragic and tactical error won't make good captain even if he had all stars playing under him. There is a reason DD has long tail for past 5 seasons. Team plays like their captain and did n't care. if captain cares , players care. Bisla won the game for KKR. 190 is too tough to score unless someone clicks big time. That too first wicket falls way early and bisla kept them in game. And Bad luck on last ball of penultimate over cost CSK the cup. 16 in last over impossible for Tiwary and sakib to make.

  • SamiraH on May 28, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    The last ball of the 19th over in the KKR innings turned this match around. That was indeed a nerveless shot by Shakib Al Hasan.

  • LifenCricket on May 28, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Great IPL win for KKR ! One thing though, what's this team game, and not individual game theory of Gautam Gambhir all about. The only thing in any interview regardless of the question he says is it is a team game and individuals do not matter, Captain is as good a s his team and not the vice versa ?? On the other he contradicted himself by saying he won the final for balaji. why dedictaing a 18 match tournament to one injured player. In due respect to balaji ( he is a good player), isnt this belittling the effort of the entire team which by the way are composed of individuals??? And now y dedicate the win to only one player? where is the team?

  • Percy_Fender on May 28, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    Gautam Gambhir is ready for the captaincy in probably all formats of the game since he has the game for all three.That is of course if Dhoni is keen on stepping down.In fact he has a good rcord of captaining India in ODIs I think.Apart from that observation,I think it is time that wickets be made to make it equal between bat and ball. As a long time cricket watcher,I must say that I found the final quite boring and one dimensional.This is something they should ensure in the next edition of the IPL.Cricket will be the gainer if we can have sporting wickets for all games without any exception.Much as well as Bisla and others played, I cannot think of any bowler who really made a mark.Not even Hilfenhaus with his fast swing.I am not sure how much Rajiv Shukla himself really knows about cricket but he has a cricket committee to turn to for advice.This IPL was much better than the earlier ones in terms of cricket.It is in his powers to make the IPL a brand synonymous with quality in cricket

  • Hayat22 on May 28, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    If somebody had said before the match begun, that the match at Chennai, would be won by a team chasing a mammoth total, and none of the usual suspects from either of the starting XIs would get the man of the match, the predictor would have been laughed at. But this is what happened! Amazing, and glorious are the uncertainities of cricket, as they say!

  • on May 28, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    narine, balaji n gambhir who took to the final then bisla's blast innings took the trophy

  • on May 28, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    Congrats Gambir & Team, You deserve the win , hope to see you as captain of Indian team. Gambir & Rahul Dravid are the genuine captains of all forms of cricket (T20, ODI & Test Match). Gambir is aggressive and Dravid is more of a Mentor. Cheers...

  • zero_knowledge on May 28, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Doing it for Balaji is better gesture than our indian team doing it for Tendulkar as at least Balaji was injured and couldn't play. so the "whole doing it for" makes much sense here while doing it for someone who is also part of the same team is just saying right things about Tendulkar to avoid backlash :D i still remember how Parnell told earlier that Nehra is his role model ;)

  • Prajay1986 on May 28, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Where was Mr.RJ,.. I Thought he is in the team as an allrounder,.. i didnt thought that he is just fielder in playing 11,.. and two pathetic throw to the WK,.. i think he is not fit into the 11 also...

  • muannis on May 28, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    EXACTLY. It is none but the captain said,"It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish. Those cameos from Manoj and Shakib won the game for us."

  • Baundele on May 28, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    This innings is no surprise to me. Bisla was in good form from the very beginning of this IPL. On the other hand, McCullum was always struggling. His strike rate says it all. Still KKR was persisting with McCullum, dropping Shakib and ignoring other potential batsmen like Eoin Morgan. Gambhir alone rescued them for most of the tournament. Once he failed, KKR's scoring ability used to reduce in the range 120-140. Kallis' strike rate is 105 and McCullum's 102. Manoj Tiwary joins them @105%.

  • AhoBil on May 28, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Now we have a national backup for Dhoni....thats good part!

  • soumyas on May 28, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @Suryank, SRKs pink jerseys...lol,

  • Suryank on May 28, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    I remember SRK commenting some times back, (When the KKR's dress color was changed to purple from Black), He cautioned KKR players to make it to final or else next time the color of the wardrobe wiil be Pink as Juhi Chawla likes that color and you people imagine playing in the ground with pink color dresses, Though he made that comment in a humourous manner, Players have shown that they are the champions, Hats off to Gambhir for marvelous captaincy, Congrats to Bisla Blast, SRK is a conqueror... I am happy for SRK and their little cute kids.

  • on May 28, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    CSK missed the trick by not bowling some bouncers in the early overs to Bisla. He doesn't look like a player who will play the short ball that well. All said, its a great knock, good to see such innings from an unsung domestic player.

  • Naresh28 on May 28, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    This IPL should do wonders for team India. It has shown up that there is talent available for team India:- Those that shone were Rohit Sharma, Bisla, Rahane, and Awana. Its time for some seniors (no disrespect) to make way for these youngsters. They have served us well. But we need the change. Gambhir did well and could be someone who recognises and moulds talent. He leads from the front and only needs to work on his weakness outside off-stump.

  • on May 28, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    Great win for KKR. Ghambir led the team well to the final. They played as a team very well. Excellent knocks by Bisla and ever reliable Kallis. CSK gave a good fight true to a summit clash but they dont deserve to win.

  • anver777 on May 28, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    MSD's magical captaincy didn't work tonight, but Bisla's magical knock certainly worked for KKR !!!!! Beware all !!! Bisla is Born !!!!

  • on May 28, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    My heartfelt congrats to KKR! I am a CSK fan and was supporting them through, but a part of me wanted KKR to win as they were the most consistent and deserving side througout.. And believe it or not, I am excited to see a CSK next season who will be without the pressure of defending champions and will once again compete for the title... Bt well fought KKR..!!

  • on May 28, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    WELL DONE GAUTI U R DA BEST PLAYER OF IPL AND AND CAPTAIN AS WELL

  • on May 28, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Congrats KKR in general and Gambhir in particular for the way you captured the heart and imagination of the Nation ...

  • joseyesu on May 28, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    @gmurphy - Forget not the knock of Gambir and Yuvraj in the Finals of WC2011 and Yuvraj throughout 2020WC. Dhoni can be a Good leader, but he needs good players also to support him. Steve Waugh became a great captain, because he has players like ponting Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath. Sourav, also a good captain once because of players like Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag. The more the players taking responsibility, the more the captain becomes cool.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 28, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    just proves that bisla is 2nd best wicketkeeeper batsman in da country

  • Rally_Windies on May 28, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    the pitch was a belter... Not good for bowlers..... I am surprised, the groundsmen did a good job to pull one out of the hat, this pitch was usually very helpful to bowlers throughout the tourny..

    CSK's fear of KKR's bowling cost them.... CSK should have chased ...

    KKR would never make 190 batting 1st ...... NEVER ... not even on a batter's wicket...

  • Abaa on May 28, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    I hardly knew who Bisla was before today! What a way to make a mark! Kallis once again proves that he is the greatest all-rounder ever! Guiding the rookie through a match changing match winning partnership! Narine deservedly man of the series. But it was good that Gambhir and Narine both flopped and yet KKR won thus proving the team played as a whole

  • on May 28, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    Next year fire Gambhir and hire Saurav and finish last.

  • on May 28, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    It was a nice game to see, specially both team played good. Bisla! who thought that he will be the hero? But he did and thanks KKR for good display in the field at last!!!!

  • satish619chandar on May 28, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    Great captaincy by Gambhir.. He does instill confidence in the local players and has the courage to carry them and make up with his bat for their failures.. Displayed all the qualities of excellent captain in this IPL.. As a CSK fan, i am very happy though we lost.> As Dhoni pointed, we lost to a team that played better cricket than us and not by bad cricket.. It is a KKR win and not a CSK loss.. Congrats KKR and Gambhir.. And, Great gesture to dedicate this win to Balaji..

  • rPramodya on May 28, 2012, 2:48 GMT

    Congrats! KKR. You've thoroughly deserved this win and i am extremely happy to finally see a new winner in the DLF IPL.

  • gmurphy on May 28, 2012, 2:46 GMT

    I do not agree with comment- "A successful team makes a captain, a successful captain doesn't make a team" . Senior player ( we all know who) can't cope with success of Dhoni . For any success a true leader is needed . I see Dhoni as a leader and some of the senior player can't seem to digest this .

  • Sehwag3rd300 on May 28, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    Congrats to kkr even tho narine was brilliant i think gambhir deserved player of the tournament cuz he scored nearly 600 runs and led his team as well but congrats to narine as well

  • on May 28, 2012, 1:04 GMT

    Weel done Gauti bhai...! superb effort ...... hope u continue the same to team INDIA as well

  • TheUltimateTruth on May 27, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Gambhir spoke well and was very gracious. But I don't think his bowling changes were great. He under bowled Shakib and Bhatia and over bowled Brett Lee and Kallis. Kallis did not cost him much but Brett Lee did. Also, there was no need to risk Yusuf with the ball -- he had not been good with the ball in a long time. Bisla bailed him out. Dhoni was also just okay -- he was more involved with the bowlers at the end than I have ever seen before, but he/the bolwers chose the wrong length too often. The pitch was a belter, eased out further, but 190 was defendable especially after Bisla got out. The bowlers and their length failed CSK.

  • on May 27, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    Mission accomplished is two words, Gauti.

  • on May 27, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    FANTASTIC FINISH for the IPL!!.. very tense and nerve racking game.. congrats KKR!!

  • on May 27, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Well done KKR..u deserved this thoroughly..Balaji's injury turns out to b a blessing in disguise though

  • on May 27, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    "Only one word comes to mind, mission accomplished." Those are 2 words.

  • on May 27, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Because of Balaji and Saqib, Gambir was forced to change the combination and the change paid off! Go Bengal

  • neerajprasher on May 27, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    Finally world's famous IPLfinish. Now Bcci knows which youngster is good for T20 world cup for India.Well Done KKR!!!

  • ddc....... on May 27, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    bajali surely wud have wanted to be in csk team

  • cricketsage on May 27, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    "Only one word comes to mind, mission accomplished."

    That's two words : hope you are better at keeping score ! Good job on winning IPL.

  • on May 27, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    Yup .. Mission Accomplished !! Way to go Gauti ! KKR \m/ You have also managed to take out 50% of the Diehard Dhoni Fan from me through your humble gesture and words in this IPL !!

  • Partyman on May 27, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    Mission accomplished - two words not one.

  • Htc-Baseball on May 27, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    The best part of the game were the talks from Rahul dravid and Gambhir..

  • on May 27, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    That's two words, Gautam. Not one.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on May 27, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    That's two words, Gautam. Not one.

  • Htc-Baseball on May 27, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    The best part of the game were the talks from Rahul dravid and Gambhir..

  • Partyman on May 27, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    Mission accomplished - two words not one.

  • on May 27, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    Yup .. Mission Accomplished !! Way to go Gauti ! KKR \m/ You have also managed to take out 50% of the Diehard Dhoni Fan from me through your humble gesture and words in this IPL !!

  • cricketsage on May 27, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    "Only one word comes to mind, mission accomplished."

    That's two words : hope you are better at keeping score ! Good job on winning IPL.

  • ddc....... on May 27, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    bajali surely wud have wanted to be in csk team

  • neerajprasher on May 27, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    Finally world's famous IPLfinish. Now Bcci knows which youngster is good for T20 world cup for India.Well Done KKR!!!

  • on May 27, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Because of Balaji and Saqib, Gambir was forced to change the combination and the change paid off! Go Bengal

  • on May 27, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    "Only one word comes to mind, mission accomplished." Those are 2 words.

  • on May 27, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Well done KKR..u deserved this thoroughly..Balaji's injury turns out to b a blessing in disguise though