Kolkata, April 22 (IANS) An underwhelming bowling display left the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) high and dry against Gujarat Lions in an IPL game at the Eden Gardens on Friday, head coach Jacques Kallis said.
Posting a challenging 187/5 after being asked to bat by visiting skipper Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir and Co looked good for a victory with Gujarat struggling at 122/5.
But Raina turned the tie on its head with a defiant 46-ball 84 stitching a 58-run stand for the sixth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja who remained not out on 19 to help the bottom-placed side script a four-wicket win.
All of KKR's frontline bowlers in Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Woakes went for more than ten runs an over with chinaman Kuldeep Yadav faring a little better at an economy rate of 8.25. The Kanpur spinner also picked up two wickets.
"It was certainly not one of our best bowling performances," Kallis told reporters after the engagement.
"We would have liked to get 200, especially after the start we had. But I must say that they bowled well, especially in the last five overs. The yorkers fell into place and they kept it tight. All that made it tough for us. So yes, it was disappointing that we didn't get those 10-15 runs more," Kallis said.
The former South Africa all-rounder backed his bowlers to come good against Royal Challengers Bangalore who they play on Sunday saying one bad day in office does not make them a poor bowling unit.
"We don't become a bad bowling unit after just one game. We will have some good game plans in place. RCB are down in the table, and they are looking for some form. We will have to use that to our advantage. We still have a lot of confidence," he said.
"The boys are playing with freedom and playing well. We haven't been able to put up a complete game so far, but when we start doing that we will be a tough side to beat."
Asked if setting up a total while batting first is a problem for KKR, Kallis said: "It just seems to be a trend that sides chasing tend to win more. So AI don't think that's an issue. We need to up our standards in all the departments, that's how we see it."
On Raina's superlative show, Kallis said: "Every player has got his place. Some can rotate strike, some can hit big. Raina is a good all-round player. I don't think we bowled as well to him as we could have done and should have done.
"When good players get off to a good start, it's difficult to contain them. Raina played really well to hold the innings together."
KKR are second in the eight-team points table having eight points from six matches.