Newly appointed Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Darren Sammy put on a brave face after his side crashed to a seven-wicket defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in a crucial Indian Premier League 2014 tie on Sunday. With this loss, the Sunrisers find themselves further away from a spot in the playoffs. (Match Scorecard | Match highlights | Points Table)
After electing to bat, Hyderabad were restricted to a modest 142/8 in good batting conditions but the bowlers did well to stretch Kolkata's chase to the last over. Sammy rued the missed chances in the game and regretted the loss of wickets at crucial junctures despite a good start.
Hyderabad were 41/1 off 5.3 overs and were headed to a strong total before Shikhar Dhawan fell to Sunil Narine, allowing Kolkata's spinners to dry up the runs in the middle stage of the innings.
"We did not capitalise on the start. We kept losing wickets at crucial times. A lot of credit goes to the bowlers, who tried to make a game out of it. But we also made mistakes like dropping catches. Catches win matches and we did not capitalise on the key moments," Sammy said at the post-match presentation.
The West Indian all-rounder also pointed out that the conditions in Hyderabad were different from last year, when they were almost invincible at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Uppal. But he sounded optimistic about the team's chances and hoped to make something of the three home games that are left for them this season.
"It's not all over yet; we still have three games to go (and) I hope some results go our way."
Meanwhile, Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir was elated with the victory, as it consolidated their position at number four on the table. They are now clear of the Sunrisers by four points and lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore by two. RCB had earlier on Sunday, defeated Chennai Super Kings to stay afloat.
"It was a big game for us, because this win has given us a four-point advantage over SRH," Gambhir said.
The KKR captain also heaped praise on Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey, who steered the chase after he was controversially declared out early into the innings.
"I am happy with the way Uthappa, Yusuf and Manish batted. I also want to give credit to the bowlers, who restricted Hyderabad to 143 on such a wicket." Kolkata now sit pretty, behind Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in the points table. The Knight Riders now move to the Eden Gardens, where they play three games on the trot from May 20 to May 24.