While Rajasthan Royals raced to the top of the points-table with another hard-earned victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kolkata Knight Riders fell to the battery of pace thrown at them by the home team. With the 19-run win, KKR were pushed to the sixth spot, albeit very early on in the IPL 6.
The Royals proved their bowling strength once again but would want to fire more consistently with the bat. KKR on the other hand, too, will have to work on their batting with their bowling looking in shape.
Rahul Dravid, who ably led his side to a well deserved victory, was in a jovial mood at the post-match presentation.
"It is our first win (in Rajasthan) with five fast bowlers," said the 'Wall' jokingly.
He was somewhat critical for his batting but all praise for the bowlers.
"We were below par with the bat but it is a good win nonetheless. Brad Hodge and Dishant Yagnik's innings at the end got us to a fighting total. Gambhir's wicket was a big one. Overall we bowled pretty well. Siddharth Trivedi bowled an amazingly good spell.
Dravid also stressed on the fact that with players of the quality of Gambhir, Kallis, Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan, Rajasthan could not possibly have played spinners.
"With such batsmen we could not have played spinners so why not bombard them with pace," said Dravid.
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir lamented the fact that his side could not build on any solid partnership.
"We kept losing wickets at the wrong time. 144 was a good job by the bowlers and we should have chased it on a good batting wicket.
Gambhir was also critical of some of the shot selection by his batsmen.
"Some of the shots were outrageous and we cannot keep making those mistakes. The way we have bowled has been fantastic, especially Sunil Narine," said Gambhir.
He also praised the wicket at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
"It was an even contest for both batsmen and bowlers. That's what you want, good competition," said the Indian opener.
Siddharth Trivedi, who got the Man of the Match award for his 3 wickets and economical bowling, thanked the pitch, Rahul Dravid and team management for his performance.
"I really enjoyed bowling here. The ball was seeming a bit in the first innings and Rahul bhai and management guided me on how to bowl. If you get such wickets, fast bowlers put in more effort," said a happy but polite Trivedi.
He also showered praise of teammate Shaun Tait and the Jaipur crowd.
"Tait is a good mate. He also guides me in the nets. Sometimes I feel he bowls 150 and I am only in 130s but I use what I have. I am really fortunate to be a part of the Rajasthan team. I love playing at Jaipur with such a supportive crowd," said Trivedi.
Asked to speak on Rajasthan's victory, fast bowler S Sreesanth was excited not just for the win but also praised the 'green top'.
"The win was absolutely fantastic. It is always great to bowl on a green top. Nice to see 5 fast bowlers playing," said Sreesanth referring to the pace bowling battery of himself, Shaun Tait, Siddharth Trivedi, Rahul Shukla and Kevon Cooper.
Sreesanth did not mince any words in lauding team efforts but also had special mention for skipper Rahul Dravid.
"Rahul bhai really supported me. Even Shaun Tait and Siddharth Trivedi came to talk to me. Hats off to the team," quipped the Indian swing bowler.
He was particularly excited to have played for the first time in home conditions (Jaipur) for the Rajasthan Royals.
"First game for Rajasthan at home ground for me. I am still excited for the wicket. Also looking forward for the match against Pune," said an ecstatic Sreesanth.