Yusuf believes he's a big game player

May 23, 2012, 02:31 IST | PTI

Kolkata Knight Riders kept faith in Yusuf Pathan and he repaid it by scoring a match-winning 40 in the first Qualifier.

Kolkata Knight Riders made it to their maiden IPL final after beating Delhi Daredevils by 18 runs thanks mainly to the Yusuf Pathan. Pathan has been under fire throughout the tournament for being out-of-form, but he delivered when it mattered. Pathan, who smashed a brilliant 21-ball 40 to help side reach a good total, said he was pleased to have lived up to the expectations of the team.  

"There are always big hopes from me. I had not performed well in the previous games, but I know that I can get going in a big match," he said after receiving man-of-the-match award. 

Irfan and Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf (right) and Irfan Pathan after the game. 

Yusuf said having enough overs to settle on the pitch helped him get his touch back. "I had a lot of time to get in and adjust myself to the track today. Now, we are waiting for the big game. We will relax and await for it eagerly," he said. 

Kolkata though had to protect their total of 162 against a line-up that included virender Sehwag and David Warner and they did it ably and winning skipper Gautam Gambhir said they were confident of defending the total.

"We always felt that it was a 140-145 wicket, but when we got 160, we thought it was an above par score," he said.

Asked if Jaques Kallis' bowling along with his batting has proved crucial, Gambhir said each and every bowler has contributed in their good run so far.

"Not only about Kallis, all of them have bowled have bowled very well, lot of credit to all the bowlers including Balaji, Abdulla, Narine and others," Gambhir said.

Paceman L Balaji had looked in some discomfort during the match but Gambhir said he will recover in time before Sunday's final. "We have four days for Balaji to recover from the injury."  

Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir's delighted that KKR have made it to the final.

KKR bowling consultant Wasim Akram said Gambhir's leadership has made a huge impact on team's fortunes this season. 

"I am happy to be associated with KKR. It's a great bunch of boys, love to stick around with each other. Long story what's changed from the first four years, but to cut it short, its all because of a very good captain and an enthusiastic owner," the Pakistani bowling legend said.

Akram was happy that the team strategy worked today. "We read the wicket well, we played four spinners, they played only one, had they got in another spinner or two, it could have gotten lot closer," he said.

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