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May 28, 2012
Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings coach, has said Manvinder Bisla's assault in Kolkata Knight Riders' successful chase of 191 in the IPL final was unexpected. Super Kings, two-time IPL champions, failed to make it three in a row as Knight Riders beat them by five wickets in a last-over finish at Chepauk.
"I don't know if we can over-analyse how wrong we got it, but admire what they did. Bisla, I thought, was outstanding, they needed someone to stand up," Fleming said. "We got a great early wicket of [Gautam] Gambhir, which we had targeted, but we didn't expect the onslaught from Bisla, maybe a quick 30, 40 would have been fine, but he took it quite deep."
Bisla smashed 89 in 48 balls and was involved in a 136-run stand for the second wicket with Jacques Kallis, who also scored a half-century. "That partnership gave them belief," Fleming said.
With 20 needed to win off the last two overs for Knight Riders, Super Kings still stood a chance and the pressure on the visitors grew when Kallis fell in the penultimate over, off Ben Hilfenhaus. However, Hilfenhaus bowled an above waist-high full toss the next ball, yielding three runs and an extra delivery that was hit for four by Shakib Al Hasan. "In the 19th over, there was a big turning point with the no-ball, going into the last over with 14 or 15 to win is a different story," Fleming said. Nine were needed off the final over and Manoj Tiwary finished the game with two successive fours.
Fleming, however, praised his team for its performance through the season, and for fighting hard in the final. "When you get beaten like that, it's a lot easier to take than when you've played below par. A little disappointed that our campaign has been termed as 'lucky', we still got the points to qualify for the semis. The challenge next year is to be one of the most consistent sides."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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