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May 10, 2013
Ryan ten Doeschate, playing his first game of the IPL season, changed the course of Kolkata Knight Riders' game against Pune Warriors, according to his captain Gautam Gambhir. Ten Doeschate, the Netherlands allrounder, arrived at the crease at 75 for 3 in the 12th over and hit 31 off 21 deliveries to lift Knight Riders to 152 for 6 on a difficult Pune pitch.
"Ryan was the man who changed the course of the tie," Gambhir said. "Before he came to bat, we were expecting to score around 130 runs. Playing his first match, Ryan did a wonderful job in the death overs. He is the real hero."
It was only the fifth win in 13 games for Knight Riders, the defending champions. Ten Doeschate had to sit out their campaign so far, but did not feel after his performance that he was the missing link in the line-up. "No, I wouldn't say that," ten Doeschate told the IPL website. "There are obviously a lot of good international players here. Like when I come in, a quality player like Ryan McLaren has to sit out. So you have got to wait your turn. And that is probably one of the toughest things you have to do, as you have got to stay fresh and stay ready. That is the hard part about being in a group of eight or nine good overseas guys like in KKR."
While Gambhir was "happy and relieved" with the win, he said Knight Riders were capable of doing much better. Ten Doeschate agreed with his captain. "I don't think we have done particularly badly this year," ten Doeschate said. "I just don't think we have won crucial moments of the game. However, we have certainly channeled the pressure of being defending champions into a way that would work out for us this year."
Gambhir again backed his misfiring batsman Yusuf Pathan, who had another failure, making 3 off 6 after coming in at 90 for 4 in the 15th over. "It is disappointing that Yusuf is not getting runs," Gambhir said. "I believe he is more disappointed than all of us. After all, he is an impact player. I am sure he will return to form in the coming matches of the tournament."
Warriors captain Aaron Finch said his batsmen were "really disappointing" after they were dismissed for 106, with only Angelo Mathews and Robin Uthappa managing double-digit scores. "150 was a difficult score to chase on this wicket and we had not batted very intelligently either," Finch said. "We knew that Sunil Narine was going to bowl a few overs towards the end of the innings. And so we needed to cash in on the first six overs and put up as many runs as possible and get ahead in the run-rate. I believe we should have applied ourselves a bit more. We have really let ourselves down."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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