Australian David Warner, who hit a hurricane unbeaten knock of 107, turned out to be the hero for the Delhi DareDevils as they thrashed the Kolkata Knight Riders by 40 runs at the Kotla on Monday. Warners 69-ball innings was studded with nine boundaries and five massive hits over the rope.
As the Knights slumped to their fourth defeat in seven matches, captain Sourav Ganguly, at the post-match presentation ceremony conceded that Warner took the game away from them and said his team needed to bat better.
Souravs counterpart, Gautam Gambhir, too, lauded Warner. He, however, added that Englishman Paul Collingwoods performance also contributed to his teams success.
Man of the Match Warner said he was happy with his performance and backed himself for his shots.
The following are excerpts
Gambhir: The way Warner batted today (Monday) was exceptional. It was one of the best innings I have seen on this ground. He played some incredible shots even after we lost a few early wickets. His innings also allowed (Paul) Collingwood to graft his innings perfectly. Theres no point asking Warner to restrain himself… Do you think he is going to listen? Thats the way he plays and wins matches. And that is the reason why players like him and (Virender) Sehwag are so dangerous. The good thing about Collingwood is that he contributes with the bat, the ball and during fielding as well. His partnership with Warner set up the game for us. The nature of the wicket also helped us. We know how to play on this kind of a wicket and mix things up. Its always difficult for the visitors to deal with this kind of a track. Umesh Yadav bowled well… He has good pace and is a prospect for the future.
Sourav: They (DareDevils) batted well. Warner played a blinder and the toss was also important, which unfortunately we lost. In Ahmedabad (against the Rajasthan Royals) and here, the toss was important (because of the wicket) and unfortunately on both occasions we ended on the wrong side. This was a 150-run wicket and we did manage to get some early wickets. But Warner just took the game away from us. He kept clearing the ground with ease. We used the spinners more as the pitch was slow, the ball gripped and it turned as well. Also the seamers went for runs. We need to bat better in the remaining games. We dropped a few catches in this game, but overall, I think, we did pretty well on the field today.
Warner (MoM): I did enjoy batting today. It was a bit jittery in the beginning for us but then I backed myself and am happy for doing my job well. We knew we had to bat sensibly during the middle overs and yet score runs quickly and we were able to do that. Its important to put up a good score on the board if you are batting first. On this wicket, 160-180 should have been ideal… Good that we reached that total. Collingwood was perfect today… He was playing his first IPL match of this season and played an excellent game. He assessed the conditions beautifully and crafted his innings accordingly. With two back-to-back victories, were now positive about making the last four. I hope that we are able to carry on the momentum in our next matches.
David Hussey: Well, it was a defeat that could have been avoided. It was an achievable total but we lost the momentum. Actually, we couldnt execute our plans. I also used a lot of balls during my batting. In the next match (against Deccan Chargers), you will see a very determined and improved Kolkata Knight Riders. We will certainly bounce back.
We had lots of plans like A, B, C and D to stifle David (Warner), but nothing worked. It was perhaps the best T20 innings of his career. He was simply too good. We need an X factor like Warner. There should be one player to come and take the game on and win matches for us.
Getting 177 was not exactly a difficult task. After all, we have batsmen like (Sourav) Ganguly and (Chris) Gayle and then we have (Wriddhiman) Saha and (Ajit) Agarkar to follow.
I think we played with a lot of freedom but guys lost early wicket and we could not pull back and consolidate. We really missed Shane Bond, who wasnt feeling well and couldnt play. Had he been there, we would have chased 150 not 170.