They have finally snapped the three-match losing streak and although they still have to travel a long and arduous path, Kolkata Knight Riders believe that they can turn the tide. The six-wicket victory against Kings XI Punjab on Friday gave them that confidence that all is not lost.
When the team lost the wicket of in-form captain Gautam Gambhir and woefully out-of-form Yusuf Pathan in the second over of their chase of 150, it seemed that the side will buckle under pressure once again. But Manvinder Bisla, who had just 35 runs to his credit in five innings before hitting a 51 not out this match, first stitched a vital 66-run stand with Jacques Kallis (37) and then strung a match-winning 72-run partnership with Eoin Morgan (42) to take the side home.
And although his knock was not chanceless as he got a reprieve when Mandeep Singh dropped a sitter when he was batting on just one, Bisla is very much relieved to have got some runs under his belt and that his side has finally broken the losing run.
"It was a very important victory for us. We were a bit low after three consecutive losses, but we were very positive about the comeback," Bisla told IPLT20.com. "We had the belief in ourselves that we would go out there and perform today. I am glad we won and this is only the beginning of better things to come."
"I did not do well in the first phase of the tournament and it was important for me to get runs soon. It was important to get runs on the board. I went back to my basics, worked hard in the last ten days to get my game back and the hard work paid off."
Bisla said the KKR set up is very competitive and you need to give your best in order to get a place in the side. "There is a healthy competition in the side and no one is assured of a place. When the coach or captain feels that a certain player can do well in a certain kind of wicket, they give that player a chance and totally back him. It is not that a player gets one chance, does not perform and he is made to sit out. All players get a chance to perform."
Kolkata have two important away games coming up. They will first play the two time champions Chennai Super Kings on Sunday before going to Raipur to face Delhi Daredevils. How far they go in defending their title depends on how they perform in those two games.