Table-toppers of last year's IPL Gujarat Lions, went off to a worst possible start in this season after losing both their opening matches but came back strongly against Rising Pune Supergiant to register their first win this year. Savouring their win in IPL 10, Lions captain Suresh Raina on Friday said it was a difficult proposition for his side to make a strong comeback in the tournament, especially after ending up on the losing side in their first two games.
Gujarat Lions, who finished third in their debut season last year, comfortably defeated Rising Pune Supergiant by seven wickets to register their first win in the ongoing IPL.
"It was difficult for us to comeback strongly after losing the two games," Raina said at the post-match presentation ceremony here.
Raina was full of praise for debutant fast bowler Andrew Tye (5/17) who registered the second hat-trick on a single day in the history of IPL on Friday.
"I thought AJ (Tye) bowled brilliantly. He is a very smart cricketer who varies his pace, especially in the death overs," he said.
Raina also praised the opening duo of Brendon McCullum (49) and Dwayne Smith (47), who had set the platform for the comfortable chase with a 94-run opening stand.
"Baz (McCullum) and Smith did it for us. They have done it for CSK and they did it again today," he said.
Supergiant skipper Steven Smith said losing wickets in a heap after a good start held them back from posting a bigger total on the board, especially on a good batting wicket.
"I don't think that wicket really changed over the course of 40 overs. It was a pretty good wicket. We got ourselves into a good position but lost a few wickets in clumps and we weren't good enough tonight," he said.
"The surface played better than we thought it would. When Dwayne (Smith) and McCullum get going, it's hard to stop them and we could not come back after that."
Man-of-the-match Andrew Tye said slower delivery worked wonders for him on Friday.
"It's a good format of cricket, but traditionally, I would still love to play Test cricket. The slower ball worked very well for me," said Tye.
(With PTI Inputs)