Yuvraj Singh’s wicket was crucial, feels Anil Kumble

Yuvraj Singh had almost single-handedly won the match and if he would have stayed there five overs more, the game would have been all but over, feels Royal Challenger Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble.

“The ball was stopping and coming and Yuvraj of course likes pace on the ball and I wanted to take the pace off and that worked. Yuvi was going great guns and if he had been five overs more, probably the game was over and there on we really tightened screw,” Kumble said after the match.

Yuvraj Singh notched up the first hat-trick of second Premier League and also scored a blistering 33-ball 50 but still could not avoid Kings XI Punjab’s narrow 9-run defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday.

Kumble gave credit to Roelof van der Merwe for posting such a competitive target even after losing three wickets in three balls.

“It was a great game. After losing three wickets in three balls, I thought Re (van der Merwe) batted fantastically to get us to 145 and everybody rallied around him and when we got to the score we really backed ourselves. It is a great show by the bowlers,” he said.

Merwe score a quickfire 35 off 19 balls studded with three fours and three sixes to post a target of 146 to win against the Kings XI Punjab.

Kumble also lavished praise on Praveen Kumar for his crucial over in the end.

Kumble, who succeeded Kevin Pietersen as skipper, said they are improving with each game and hoped the winning streak will continue.

“We certainly have got better from the last game and in this game the intensity was brilliant, it showed in our batting and bowling, we are improving in every game and we hope the winning streak continues,” he said.

Disappointed at the loss, Yuvraj Singh said the opponent were a better side on the given day.

“We played good cricket but at the end they were better. We bowled well, we had a good score to chase but we could not do that, hopefully we can do it next time,” he said.

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