All-rounder Yusuf Pathan, who guided Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a thrilling four-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils in their IPL clash, has asserted his side had largely succeeded in their plan to score a boundary in every over and rotate the strike during their chase at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Monday evening.
Chasing 170, Pathan struck six boundaries and two sixes in his 59-run knock besides stitching a 110-run stand with Manish Pandey (69*) for the fourth wicket to help visitors reach the target with a ball remaining.
“We had a good game plan and it succeeded. We were trying to get a boundary or a six in every over regardless of who the bowler was and to keep rotating the strike. We were trying to put the bowlers and the captain under pressure so that they commit a mistake and so do the fielders,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Yusuf as saying iplt20.com after the match.
Pathan, who came to bat when KKR were reeling at 21-3, said he found it extremely enjoyable to bat as the opposition bowlers were coming hard at him.
“The bowlers were becoming aggressive and I was enjoying that. When the bowler comes aggressively at you, I feel good because he wants to get me out and that leads to a good contest. When I came in to bat I was middling the ball well. The bowlers were under pressure. I could feel that they wanted my wicket. So, I was thinking that.,” he said.
“I have to stay at the wicket. As long as I am there the match is ours.’ I was converting the boundary balls into boundaries and the strike was rotating as well; so that was a good start,” he added.
Yusuf, who notched up 21 not out and 6 in his previous two innings, also lavished praise on Pandey while stating that KKR were not “confused” by Daredevils’ plans,ESPNcricinfo reported.
“We told ourselves that we will play our shots because their field placements were really good and could confuse the batsman. But we discussed that we shouldn’t get confused and back ourselves and continue playing our shots whether it’s going over the top or along the ground. The wicket was good and the outfield fast, so that too was helpful,” Yusuf said.
Admitting that Delhi Daredevils has a ‘good’ bowling attack, Yusuf also hailed opposition skipper Zaheer Khan for his brilliant field placings.
“Delhi has a good bowling line-up and Zaheer is captaining them really well. His field placement was also really good, but we had to hold ourselves back and stay calm. We discussed that we have to bat according to the way we want to and not to the field that they were placing,” he added.
Kolkata, who are standing at the top of the table with four wins from five games they have played, will now take on Gujarat Lions at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 21.