Robin Uthappa played a match-winning knock of 68, studded with 4 sixes and 5 boundaries    BCCI
Robin Uthappa played a match-winning knock of 68, studded with 4 sixes and 5 boundaries BCCI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) maintained dominance over the IPL defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Saturday. KKR defeated the David Warner-led side by 17 runs in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. SRH, despite having a deep batting attack failed to chase down a target of 173 in the 20 overs. Robin Uthappa was adjudged Man of the Match for playing vital innings of 39-ball 68 to put his team in the pole position in the first innings. Uthappa, who played as an opener for KKR in the past, has seen himself batting at No. 3 in IPL 2017. But despite the change in his batting position, the right-handed batsman has expressed his delight batting at No. 3. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) Match 14 at Kolkata

Talking in the post-match presentation ceremony, Uthappa was quoted by PTI as saying, The team requires me to bat at No. 3. I have taken the challenge on and am willing to do it for the team. It’s a very important position.”

“If you lose wickets you need someone with experience to handle that kind of the pressure and ensure you don’t lose another wicket.” READ MORE: FULL UPDATES

KKR in their last game against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) introduced spinner Sunil Narine as an opener along with Gautam Gambhir in the absence of injured Chris Lynn. Narine blasted the KXIP bowlers, smashing 37 off just 18 deliveries. But the same experiment didn t work for the two-time IPL champions as Narine was dismissed early in the innings for just 6 runs off 9 deliveries by the Purple cap-holder Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

But Uthappa backed the West Indian saying, It’s just one game. It’s important for us to back him (Narine), if you don’t back (a player), you tend to breed insecurity. I don’t think we would do that. He will repay the faith. We have no doubt about that,” Uthappa said.

Moreover, the wicketkeeper-batsman was all praise for the relaid Eden Surface in February during the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

“I was a little scared as to how the wicket would turn out. The first match was a really good track to bat on. This one was slightly slower. Since we have such an all-round side, it fits right into our scheme of things,” he said.

“I did not expect the wicket to change so much in such little time. Really happy to see the wicket the way it is now. I must congratulate the curator and groundsmen for doing a phenomenal job.”

Uthappa also praised opposition bowler Bhuvneshwar. Bhuvneshwar conceded just 20 runs in his 4 overs, grabbing 3 important wickets.

He further said that KKR eventually fell short of 15-20 runs due to some stringent death bowling.

“We were slightly less than we would like to end with. Need to respect the way Bhuvi bowled. We did the best we could. We had faith in our bowlers. At Eden, batting second is little easier and to have defended the score is commendable.”