Kolkata Knight Riders coach Trevor Bayliss has said Chris Lynn's performance with the bat and in the field against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah on Thursday night was an extension of his good form in the Big Bash League. Lynn scored 45 off 31 balls for Knight Riders and then took a blinder in the outfield in the final over to get rid of AB de Villiers when Royal Challengers needed six off the last three balls.
Lynn, the right-handed batsman, scored 198 runs in eight games with two fifties for Brisbane Heat in the BBL. Lynn, who was only playing his second IPL game, hit three sixes and Bayliss said he was capable of clearing the big boundaries.
"What you saw tonight was only a little bit of what he produced in the BBL. He had an unbelievable season with Heat this year," Bayliss said. "Obviously, different wickets to what he plays at home, some of the balls were keeping low and some didn't come on like in his home ground at the Gabba. For a little fellow he has got a power game. He hits the ball as big as anyone that I have seen and as we have also seen, a fantastic fielder as well."
Lynn was fielding at deep midwicket when de Villiers looked to slog Vinay Kumar over the rope. Lynn, however, slipped and fell before the ball got to him but had the presence of mind to gather himself quickly, arch backwards and catch the ball behind his head while still within the boundary. His acrobatics had all but sealed the game as Royal Challengers could only manage three off the next two balls and lost the game.
"I felt it was a well connected shot and it was a tough catch to take at that moment," Lynn told iplt20.com. "I would have taken it comfortably had I stayed on my feet, I slipped a bit, but I clutched on to it at the last moment. I tried my best not to touch the boundary ropes and I am happy I could catch that one."
Vinay held his nerve in the death overs, conceding only seven runs in the 18th over and six in the final over with nine required, as Royal Challengers still looked the favourites to win, with plenty of wickets in hand. Vinay said he enjoyed bowling at the death and said he would take a lot of confidence from this performance.
"I love to bowl in the end overs. Last season as well I had defended 10 runs against Mumbai Indians," Vinay said. "These kind of matches make you a better bowler. When I face these situations when playing for India, I won't feel under so much pressure because I know that if I can do it in the IPL, I can do it for the Indian team as well.
"I had different plans for different batsmen. I knew if I bowled to Albie [Morkel] to his strengths, then he would hit me out of the park. I needed to bowl in the areas that would make it difficult for him to hit. I varied my pace on the first ball to Morkel, then bowled at a good length to AB, and then bowled outside off to Morkel and got AB's wicket off the next ball."
When asked about how the team managed to stay cool under pressure, Bayliss said the sessions with the explorer Mike Horn before the tournament had helped. "We had Mike Horn with us before the competition started and one of the things he spoke about was to always stay in the competition and always give yourself a chance," Bayliss said. "To be honest, we have spoken about that in the last couple of years and I thought we did that well today."