Kolkata:Kings XI Punjab skipper Yuvraj Singh rued that the last four overs in the Knight Riders' innings cost them the IPL match at the Eden Gardens on Sunday, but praised Umar Gul for making the difference between the two sides with his electrifying innings.
"Yes, the last four overs cost us the match. Before that we had things under control," Yuvraj told newspersons after losing to Knight Riders by three wickets in a cliffhanger.
When asked whether his Knight Riders counterpart Sourav Ganguly's well-paced unbeaten knock of 86 was crucial in determining the course of the game, Yuvraj was categorical in his reply. "No, I think Gul made the difference with his aggressive shots."
However, Yuvraj said he was not unduly concerned over the reverse. "We are batting, bowling and fielding well. We just need to maintain our level for the full 40 overs."
Yuvraj denied his team paid the price for complacency as they were already in the last four. "We came here to win. Unfortunately, we did not bowl the last four overs well and lost control to the Knight Riders, who played well at the death."
Man of the match Umar Gul, who followed up his rich haul of 4/23 with the cherry with a hurricane 24 of only 11 balls to set up the Knight Riders victory from a difficult position, said his success as a bowler motivated him to do well with the bat.
"I just tried and got the shots. I could bowl well, and that was a great motivating factor," he said.
Gul said when he walked in with the Knight Riders staring down the wrong end of the barrel at 106 for 6, Ganguly told him to play an open game.
"He told me 'play on, even if we lose, it doesn't matter'," he added.
The Pakistani pacer said he enjoyed his batting as he got the runs when his team needed it.
"I wanted to continue till the end. But in the end, we played good cricket."
Asked about the lessons he learnt from the IPL, Gul said, "As a bowler, I tried all three things - bouncers, yorkers and good length deliveries. May be, next year I'll try to do even better."
When pointed out that his side's superlative performance had come too late in the tourney, Gul said, "It's part of the game. We lost some matches due to rain, and some others due to our bad performance."
He termed the IPL as a unique experience. "It was highly interesting. The concept of mixed teams. It also generated lot of interest among the public."
Knight Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly praised Gul for his all-round show. "We played our natural game. Gul bowled and batted really well," Ganguly said.
Admitting that his side has failed to fulfil the expectations of fans, Ganguly hoped that they would do better in the next edition.