The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 29 , 2014
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Couldn’t have been any better: Captain Bailey

Virender Sehwag

Kings XI Punjab are soaring, the Royal Challengers Bangalore are slipping. While the former remained unbeaten in the UAE leg of IPL VII with a victory on Monday, the latter’s fortunes have taken a nosedive as they suffered their third straight loss.

Kings XI’s five-wicket victory over the Royal Challengers, in Dubai, was their fifth win on the trot in this edition and eighth in a row overall as they had won their last three matches on IPL VI as well. It’s a record.

Even Chris Gayle’s return couldn’t help the Royal Challengers on Monday as they managed just 124 for eight. Kings XI were a little jittery in the chase, but ultimately reached the target with seven balls to spare.

Virender Sehwag top scored with 32 for the Kings XI while young pacer Sandeep Sharma won the Man of the Match award claiming three for 15.

The following are excerpts

George Bailey: At the start of the tournament, our bowlers were giving away a few runs and it was our batsmen who were winning us the matches. But for the last couple of matches, it has been our bowlers who were really instrumental in our victories. So the confidence is building and it’s a very important thing.

And Sehwag has now started getting runs. He is a great cricketer. People might say that we were a little slow at the start, but with Sehwag at the top we are sure that we would keep getting our boundaries. We had a great start to the tournament in the UAE leg, and we will definitely take that. We will now have a nice little breather before we go back to India. It couldn’t have been any better and we couldn’t be any happier.

Virat Kohli: We have a really strong batting line-up but it is such a format where the momentum can change very quickly. It is one of those days when we couldn’t click as a batting unit. We should be going back to the drawing board and point out the areas that are causing problems and improve. However, it was a commendable effort from the bowlers to drag the match till the 19th over.

We are still searching for the right batting combination. We did try a few things in the last couple of games, but they didn’t come out well for us.

Sandeep Sharma (MoM): I am just feeling lucky that I have managed back-to-back Man of the Match awards. It’s an awesome feeling.

It was a big moment for me when I knocked off Chris Gayle’s off stump off the first ball I bowled to him. As a fast bowler, I idolise Dale Steyn and James Anderson. But Sachin Tendulkar Sir is my inspiration. When I was a child and had just started playing cricket, I looked up to him as a God.