'150 was a competitive total' - Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist, the Kings XI Punjab captain, believed the team had a defendable total on a sluggish pitch, but credited Eoin Morgan for turning the match in Kolkata Knight Riders' favour. Kings XI picked up the wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan early in the innings, but Manvider Bisla and Jacques Kallis built a 66-run stand, before Morgan smashed a quickfire 42 off 26 balls to help Knight Riders complete the chase with 10 balls to spare.
"Great breakthroughs early and we were right in the hunt all the way through," Gilchrist said. "Jacques and Manvinder Bisla did very well to steady the ship. Bisla took his early let-off and played a nice and controlled innings. Morgan was the difference in the end in their batting and obviously Jacques had a great game with both bat and ball. I must say if I were to believe you guys [media], Jacques wasn't even turning up today."
"I thought 150 was pretty competitive," he added. "If you get greedy, you might get 10 more. In the end, it wouldn't have mattered with the way Morgan played."
Kings XI got an ideal start when Azhar Mahmood struck twice off consecutive balls in his first over, but the bowlers struggled to pick up wickets after that. Harmeet Singh, who had picked up three wickets against Delhi Daredevils, was introduced in the 11th over and immediately picked up Kallis' wicket, but made no impact after that.
"He bowled beautifully in Delhi the other night," Gilchrist said. "He started well early today, but he would be disappointed with how he executed a couple of deliveries. But it was very sweaty and moist out there. He relies on those variations, the back spinners, the leg spinners. It was, in his defense, difficult to grip. But he is a welcome addition."
Gilchrist said he was satisfied with his form too after scoring 27, his best innings this year, and hoped to continue improvement in his game.
"I did more practice leading into this tournament than any other ones. Nice to get some from the middle of the bat. Obviously, the trouble is you fail fail fail, then you get 20-odd, and start to feel good, then you get disappointed and frustrated that you get out. So you are never really happy as a batsman. I have got to keep trying to lift my game and contributing.
"Eveything felt really good today up until I played that shot (the one that got him out). It was just slow off the wicket a little bit. I am not hitting the balls that I used to hit in the prime of my career. I understand that and I am not shattered by that. I am thrilled to be playing and enjoying it. It is not life and death. The great thing about knowledge and maturity is that there are more serious things going out there."
Kings XI are placed fifth in the table after four wins in eight matches.