Hyderabad: The Kolkata Knight Riders are finding life difficult in the Champions League T20. They succumbed to their second successive defeat, on Tuesday, in the main round of the tournament and thus are yet to open their account.
The 19-run loss against the South Australian Redbacks also means that the Knights semi-final hopes have taken a serious hit.
For the Redbacks, Callum Ferguson did the star turn. Fergusons brilliant hitting helped his side ransack 94 off the last six overs to set up a match-winning 188 on a slow pitch.
The Knights chase was hampered by loss of frequent wickets. Manoj Tiwary looked good for a brief period as he top-scored with a 31-ball 40. But he lacked support from the other end as none of the Knights batsmen managed to counter attack the disciplined bowling of the Australian team.
Ryan ten Doeschates late charge wasnt enough to light up the Knights day. He made a 16-ball 32 with three boundaries and two sixes.
At the post-match presentation ceremony, Michael Klinger, the Redbacks captain, heaped praise on Ferguson for his good show. Gautam Gambhir, the Knights captain, on the other hand, said that his side failed to click as a team.
The following are excerpts
Michael Klinger: Yes, everyone was expecting a 150-160 on this pitch. But we are happy that we surpassed those expectations. We would like to get some more scores like that. We thought we will keep wickets in hand and go hard at the end. I am glad that the plan worked today (Tuesday). The innings from Callum (Ferguson) and (Daniel) Christian were unbelievable. Those two were fantastic… When the wicket was getting slower, they pushed a lot of twos and ran really hard and picked the gaps to get the boundaries. These helped them to settle down and go deep in the end…
We left out (Shaun) Tait purely because of the conditions. We played here two days ago… We felt that the wicket was very slow... It turned out to be the same today… Tait, with extra pace, on this wicket is slightly easier to play… We have our next games in Bangalore, where the wickets are pacy… Hopefully, he can come good there.
Gautam Gambhir: When they were only 94 after 14 overs, I was thinking that they will get 150, which was a decent total on this wicket… I never thought they would get to 180-odd. I think it was a brilliant effort from Ferguson and Christian.
Till the time we cross the line, it will always remain incomplete… Playing in close games do not serve our purpose… Ultimately, it is about winning those matches and those moments… I think we did not play well as a team… Sometimes weve bowled well in patches, and sometimes batted well in patches. If you want to win T20 matches, you need to click as a team. I feel that we havent complemented each other in the tournament… When the batting was good, the bowlers disappointed… But this is what cricket is all about… We have two more games to go… Hopefully, we will try and win both the games.
Callum Ferguson (MoM): It was difficult early on, with the ball just holding on a bit when the bowlers took the pace off… The spinners too made our life terrible out there… It took a while to get in. We did not have a great build up, with a couple of wickets falling early…
Then Borgas and I had a little partnership going… Then Christian came in and made it easier for me by hitting some boundaries. He hit a few boundaries and we were able to finish off the innings well…
We took off from the Yusuf (Pathan) over when we got 20 runs… We thought that Yusuf is a bit worked over so we would attack him… It was Yusufs last over… We managed to get a couple away, which was good… It could have gone the other way… But we are fortunate it went our way today.