Lions took advantage of fresh wicket: Chawla

Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders leg-spinner Piyush Chawla has said Gujarat Lions were able to take the advantage of bowling first on a fresh strip as they secured a five-wicket victory over the hosts in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter. "Well the wicket was good and maybe because of the last night's rain it was fresh and swinging a bit during the first innings. So they had the advantage of bowling first on that wicket," Chawla said at the post-match media conference on Sunday night. On a pitch that offered quite a lot of seam movement in the first few overs, Praveen Kumar (2-19), Dhawal Kulkarni (1-30) and Dwayne Smith (1-14) ripped through the KKR top order. The Knights then recovered to post a decent 158/4 on the scoreboard but the Lions chased it down quite easily. "We lost a few early wickets but recovered well. And then they batted really well. I don't think anything went wrong, it's just that they played better cricket," Chawla said. Asked as to why star spinner Sunil Narine was left out of the playing XI for the second consecutive match, Chawla said, "He is still not fully fit. It is an injury on his spinning finger. We will have to wait." The death bowling for KKR has been inconsistent. But Chawla said it wasn’t a concern for the side as in patches they have delivered at the end overs. "First few games, we didn't bowl well at the death. But in the last game (against KXIP) we defended really well. In this game, they just needed run a ball at one point of time and we could not do much. In this format, you're bound to go for few runs," he said. The loss made KKR slip to third place on the points table but Chawla still chose to look into the positives. "There's a lot of things to take. Shakib batted really well and Yusuf too has been hitting well in last few matches. He went in a difficult situation and paced his innings really well. It was tremendous to watch," concluded the leggie.