IPL 2024: Really like the Eden Gardens wicket; have loved it, says Phil Salt after unbeaten 89

After smashing a blistering 89 not out off 47 balls to carry Kolkata Knight Riders to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Lucknow Super Giants, wicketkeeper-opener Phil Salt said he really liked batting at the Eden Gardens pitch in Sunday’s match.

Kolkata, April 14 (IANS) After smashing a blistering 89 not out off 47 balls to carry Kolkata Knight Riders to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Lucknow Super Giants, wicketkeeper-opener Phil Salt said he really liked batting at the Eden Gardens pitch in Sunday’s match.

Salt blazed away from the power-play to hit 14 fours and three sixes in his unbeaten knock, also his second fifty of the ongoing season, to complete KKR’s chase with 26 balls to spare, as the hosts’ maintained their second place in the points table by moving to eight points.

“Before the lights came on, I felt it was a little slower. When they came on, there was a bit more moisture to allow the ball to slide on, so it got a bit better for our innings. In India, this (Eden Gardens pitch) is probably the most similar to home. Ball bounces a bit more and you can aim squarer. Really like the wicket here. I have loved it,” he said after collecting the Player of the Match award.

He was also supported by captain Shreyas Iyer making run-a-ball 38 not out as the duo shared a match-winning 120-run stand off 76 balls for the third wicket in a humid afternoon match to delight KKR’s home supporters with a win on Bengali New Year day.

“I said to Swanny (former England off-spinner & commentator Graeme Swann) before the game that I was melting and I had only been out there for two minutes. Kept going, Shreyas was good in the middle and kept me on task. Good to get another win at home. We have some great overseas players, some great coaches. Good to have Shreyas back. GG (Gautam Gambhir) is back in the fold as well, and I am really enjoying it,” he added.

Apart from Mitchell Starc’s 3-28, Sunil Narine’s 1-17 helped KKR in acing the middle overs strangle of LSG. “I think the situation of the game, we started well in the power-play, keep it as tight as possible and see what happens in the end (on his bowling mantra). In some games it happens, while some times it doesn’t, but once you’re in some control, it becomes easier,” said Narine.

He also had some words of praise for his opening partner Salt and his unbeaten 89 to give KKR its fourth win of IPL 2024. “The boys are keen and everyone is enjoying it (on getting two out of two wins at home). Once you enjoy, you’ll have some fun. He’s played well in every game (on Phil Salt), has shown some fine form and hopefully he’ll keep going and get some big runs.”

Narine also felt LSG fast-bowler West Indies’ Shamar Joseph bowled well, despite returning with figures of 0/47 in in his four overs, including giving away 22 runs in the opening over of KKR’s chase of 162.

“Probably the figures don’t show, he was unlucky (on Shamar Joseph), he bowled four overs, he kept going, showed some energy and that’s a positive. I will be watching it from home, Badree (on wishing to come back to playing for the West Indies in the T20 World Cup),” he concluded. KKR will next host top-ranked Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

–IANS

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