Semis are totally different ball game, says Anil Kumble

Victorious Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble on Thursday expressed his happiness for progressing to the semi-finals of the Indian Premier League and feels from here on it is anybody’s game as on a given day any side can outsmart the other.

Royal Challengers today defeated Deccan Chargers by 12-runs to move to the third spot in the points table and qualify for the semifinals where they will meet Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.

Although Deccan Chargers lost today, they also qualified for the semi-finals as the fourth team and will take on mighty Delhi Daredevils on Friday.

“It’s a great thing for us considering what happened last year. Even the start, we started well this year and then slumped to four losses in a row and then came back again,” Kumble said after the match.

“Happy to get into the semis. From here anybody can win on their day. So we back ourselves with the way we played in the last four games. It’s been brilliant and will take this confidence going into the semi-final,” he added.

The Bangalore skipper was full of praise for young Manish Pandey who scored a brilliant 114 off just 73 balls to set the platform for the victory.

“Brilliant hundred. Manish had a few opportunities but didn’t get to bat. In the other games he was batting lower down the order so we just took a chance and send him up and he came off really well.

“I mean the way he really batted was brilliant,” Kumble said.

He also lauded Balachandra Akhil for taking up the responsibility in the bowling department in Kallis absence.

Kallis left the field after bowling his first over due to an injury and in his absence Akhil responded to his captain’s call picking up two crucial wickets for 18 runs.

“Defending 170 on a good wicket against Deccan was a brilliant effort,” Kumble said.

Meanwhile, losing skipper Adam Gilchrist admitted that his side was totally outplayed by Royal Challengers today.

“We were outplayed today. We aren’t as sharp as we would liked to be. It would have been nice to have a positive result going into the semis.

“But now we gonna freshen up our mind. Now its totally different with four teams in the race. Any one can beat any one else on their night,” Gilchrist said.

He also lauded Pandey for his magnificent batting and said the 19-year-old took the game away from the Chargers with his power hitting.

“It might be a one individual performance, it might be the whole team chipping in. We saw a fine hundred tonight and that took the game right from us,” the former Australian wicket-keeper said.

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