Bangalore: Pune Warriors India's opener Robin Uthappa felt that the hurricane innings of 81 by the Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Chris Gayle set up the game for AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary to finish it off on the last ball of the Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.
Chasing a target of 183 for victory, Gayle came up with some phenomenal hitting, followed by brilliant batting at the rear by Tiwary (36 not out) and de Villiers (33 not out) that helped Bangalore beat Pune by six wickets. "AB and Saurabh played out of their skins to get [the] required 21 runs in [the] last over. But I thought it was well set up by Gayle," Uthappa said at the post-match press conference here.
Uthappa also said that Pune were 15 runs short on a good batting track. "The whole team thought we were 10-15 runs short as Bangalore is known for [a] good batting track. If a team had wickets till the end, it could surely reach the target."
"AB and Saurabh played out of their skins, but I thought it was well set up by Gayle," the PWI batsman said.
The wicketkeeper-batsman said that Pune had a plan for Gayle as they knew his ability to turn the game around in one or two overs, but by the time they could get him out, the damage was already done. "It was important for us to keep Gayle off the strike for as long as possible and try giving singles to push him to the non-striker's end. We did get him, but by then he had done the damage," Uthappa said.
Uthappa also said that though Pune have lost a close game, they would not let the defeat affect them. "In a tournament like this, you are going to lose a few games. But you should not allow defeat enter your psyche and bog you down," he insisted.
Uthappa credited pacers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Ashok Dinda for restricting the hosts until the last over. "I thought our bowlers did well to restrict them till the last over on a very good batting wicket. They are pretty seasoned domestic cricketers and make opportunities count."