He shone with the ball with a four-wicket haul but Mumbai Indians' pacer Lasith Malinga feels responsible for the team's Indian Premier League loss to Kolkata Knight Riders, saying that a dropped catch by him cost the defending champions dearly. Mumbai lost by 41 runs in the IPL opener on Wednesday night after Manish Pandey and Jacques Kallis' half-centuries helped KKR post a fine total of 163 on the board.
"We bowled really well in the first 10 overs, but let them off the hook after that. We let Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey build a very large partnership and then they had a couple of really big overs. What really cost us the game was the catch I dropped of Kallis when he was on 34," Malinga candidly admitted in an interview to the IPL's official website. (Highlights from the match | Scorecard | Match report | Pics)
Malinga's four for 23 was a stand-out effort and the Sri Lankan said he is in a good mental space as far as his bowling is concerned. "I bowled well and it was good to be among wickets straight away. We lost as a team, which is disappointing, but this was just the first game and the team is confident we will gain momentum as we go forward into the tournament. We will treat this match as a learning experience and improve upon the various aspects going forward," he said. (Full IPL schedule)
Asked if he was carrying the confidence of leading Sri Lanka to the recent World T20 triumph, Malinga said, "Yes, it was wonderful to be part of the winning Sri Lankan team. The T20 format is very tough on the bowlers, but I am really feeling good about my bowling at the moment. I am in a good mental space and am bowling well." (Also read: Gambhir says KKR can be lethal)
Talking about last night's match, Malinga said it was satisfying to get the wicket of KKR captain Gautam Gambhir. "It is very crucial to get a breakthrough in the first six overs. I did that today, but unfortunately it wasn't enough," he said. (Related: Reuniting with Kallis helped me, says Manish Pandey)
On whether Mumbai gave away 30 runs too many, Malinga said, "Yes, we did."