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Like to play big knocks in crunch ties: Manish

Wriddhiman Saha, on Sunday

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Manish Pandey showed plenty of promise during the early stages of IPL VII, cracking two half-centuries. He faded away in the middle stages only to sizzle again when it mattered the most.

In Sunday’s IPL final, KKR needed a big innings from one of their top-order batsmen to chase down the target successfully. Manish stepped up and guided the Knights to a three-wicket win. At the presentation ceremony, Manish said he likes playing big knocks in crunch ties.

Excerpts

Wasim Akram: We deserved to win the title. Nine wins on the trot… It was an amazing run… It suits only champions. I am proud of the boys.

We weren’t dependant on any particular individual. It was team effort all throughout the tournament. Credit to the boys. I would also like to give credit to our captain Gambhir. He was incredible.

Trevor Bayliss: We had immense belief in ourselves and were confident of winning the title. There were a few nervous moments but we never lost hope.

I am just thrilled to win the title for the second time in three years. We did lose quite a few matches at the start this season and the guys were disappointed. But we didn’t lose heart and pulled our socks up and made a strong comeback.

Piyush Chawla: It was the most memorable victory lap of my life. I am not very emotional but I just couldn’t stop myself today. The sheer joy of the victory was far greater that the wickets I get. The six that I hit off Mitchell Johnson… I was kind of expecting a short ball because of the kind of field placement he had got.

Manish Pandey (MoM): This is my homeground… I know the conditions here. I had the opportunity to become the hero in front of my home fans. And I didn’t want the chance to go waste.

With the ball coming on to the bat nicely, it was not difficult to play the shots. So, I backed myself and went for my shots. The shots really came off well.

It is an amazing feeling to win the IPL title. I played for Karnataka in the domestic season and we won three trophies… the Ranji Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Irani Cup. So the IPL title is the cherry on the cake. I couldn’t be happier.

I like to play big knocks in crunch ties. I like batting under pressure. I have faith in my abilities and always give myself a lot of chances. I’m just happy that I could contribute to the team’s cause and we could finish on the winning side.