Hyderabad: Proud of his side's record 12th straight win, Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir praised the team spirit and predicted a great future for Suryakumar Yadav, who helped the IPL champions book their semi-final spot in the Champions League T20, here on Wednesday. (Scorecard | Highlights)
Coming in at No.7, Suryakumar kept a cool head on his shoulders to smash a 19-ball unbeaten 43 as KKR edged past Perth Scorchers by three wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal.
"Guys have taken up great responsibility. Suryakumar Yadav, unbelievable innings, great head on his shoulders, he has got a great future," said Gambhir in the post-match presentation.
It was a great team effort in the 3-wicket win as bowlers Sunil Narine (2-41) and left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (3-39) also played their best to contain the Scorchers to 151 for seven in 20 overs. Gambhir credited the team work for the good showing.
"Also Kuldeep Yadav. We needed someone who can complement Sunil, he is someone who can. Piyush (Chawla) has also bowled well. Yusuf (Pathan) too, we have used him cleverly, it might help him produce runs. He has been hitting the ball well. Overall we are looking good. There is a lot of hunger in the dressing room," added Gambhir.
Former Mumbai Indians player Suryakumar, who stitched a 38-run sixth-wicket partnership with Yusuf Pathan (21), said that Yusuf at the other end provided a lot of support.
"Yusuf told me to play my natural game, just go on with your shots. Initially I was thinking of giving the strike to him," said the 24-year-old player.
Meanwhile Perth skipper Adam Voges, whose unbeaten 71 went in vain after the Big Bash champions failed to defend their 151, was heartbroken with the loss.
"We have had two close games. Unfortunately came out on the wrong side tonight. We missed our lengths in that over (19th). We took wickets but they took the game away from us in that over. We knew we were in the game with 150. With this line-up, they keep coming at you," said Voges.