IPL 2012: Important to win next two matches, says Shakib after disappointing loss

Except for Debabrata Das, rest of the middle-order contributed only 35 runs against Kings XI Punjab while chasing a target of 135 AFP

By CricketCountry Staff

Kolkata: Apr 16, 2012

Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Shakib al Hasan pointed out the failure of middle-order as the cause of defeat against Kingx XI Punjab in their IPL 2012 game at the Eden Gardens on Sunday, and added that his side needs to win their next two matches to gain some momentum.

Chasing a modest total of 135 to win, Kolkata could manage only 132 for seven off their allotted 20 overs. At one stage, the Knight Riders were 69 for two from 10 overs, needing a further 65 in as many overs with as many as eight wickets in hand.

“Our middle-order batsmen didn t apply themselves well. At one stage, we became a bit too cautious about losing wickets. That s one area we can certainly improve because on these kinds of wickets, it is difficult to pick up the momentum. It is not a wicket where you can play your shots. You have to be careful, but positive.” said the Kolkata all-rounder.

“It s always disappointing when you lose a game, but it feels even more disappointing when you lose such a close game. We feel that we should have won that game. We made so many mistakes and weren t smart enough to do the right things. We needed only 65 runs in the last 10 overs with 8 wickets in hand, and nine out 10 times, you would think the batting team will win. That didn t happen. It is disappointing, but you have to move on,” Shakib added.

The former Bangladesh skipper praised Kolkata batsman Debabrata Das, who scored a quick fire 35 off 23 balls to get Kolkata close to the target. Das hit three boundaries and a six which provided some momentum to an otherwise faltering batting by his team in the last ten overs.

“He is a good young cricketer. He showed a couple of games back that he can play his shots and that he is an intelligent cricketer. The way he batted, I thought he would have won the game for us, but that didn t happen. In the end it was a very good performance by him.” he said.

Talking about star all-rounder Yusuf Pathan’s poor form with the bat, Shakib said, “It is still early in the tournament although five games have been played. When a big player does not perform, there are some issues. Hopefully, he will get his form back soon, and if he gets his form back, we know how destructive he can be, how many matches he can win for us. Hopefully, he will get back in form and contribute for KKR.”

After their loss on Sunday, Kolkata Knight Riders will be facing the same opposition at Mohali on Tuesday, followed by an away match against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings at Cuttack.

Shakib felt that wining those two away games will be extremely crucial.

“It is always difficult to play away from home, but that is how this game works. If we are to go a long [way] in this tournament, we need to win those two games. They are very crucial games for us. I feel we will be up for it and will put up our best performance,” he said.