Gayle set up the game for de Villiers, Tiwary: Uthappa
Pune Warriors India opener Robin Uthappa felt that the hurricane innings of 81 by Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Chris Gayle set up the game for AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary to finish it off in the last ball of the IPL match.
Chasing a target of 183 for victory, Chris Gayle came up with a phenomenal hitting, followed by brilliant batting at the rear by Saurabh Tiwary (not out 36) and AB de Villiers (not out 33) that helped Bangalore beat Pune by six wickets last night.
"AB and Saurabh played out of their skins to get required 21 runs in last over. But I thought it was well set up by Gayle," said Uthappa at post-match press conference here.
Uthappa also said that the Pune were 15 runs short on a good batting track.
"The whole team thought we were 10-15 runs short as Bangalore is known for good batting track. If a team had wickets till the end, it could surely reach the target."
The wicketkeeper-batsman said that Pune Warriors had a plan for Gayle as they knew his ability to turn the game around in one or two overs but by the time they could get him out the damage was already done.
"It was important for us to keep Gayle off the strike for as long as possible and try giving singles to push him to the non-strikers end. We did get him but by then he had done the damage," said Uthappa.
Uthappa, however, said though Pune have lost a close game, they would not let the defeat affect them.
"In the tournament like this you are going to lose a few games. But you should not allow defeat enter your psyche and bog you down," he insisted.
Uthappa credited pacers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Ashok Dinda for restricting the Royal Challengers until the last over. "I thought our bowlers did well to restrict them till the last over on a very good batting wicket. They are pretty seasoned domestic cricketers and make opportunities count."
Meanwhile, de Villiers said the Royal Challengers desperately needed the victory for the momentum shift and he was determined to play an impact innings by getting the team closer to the target. He though admitted that he was under a little pressure when he walked out in the middle as the required run-rate was high.
De Villiers said getting '21 runs required last over' situation, he saw it as something happening before when Royal Challengers themselves had smoked 44 runs in last two overs to lose their IPL match against Chennai Super Kings.