Gilchrist concedes Chargers out of semifinals

May 12th, 2008 - 12:12 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Shoaib Akhtar

Hyderabad, May 11 (IANS) Adam Gilchrist, the stand-in captain of Deccan Chargers, conceded that his team was out of contention for a semi-final berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after their loss to Kolkata Knight Riders here Sunday. He, however, hoped the team could still impact the tournament and salvage something from the competition.

“I guess we are pretty much out of semifinals and it is the reality. It is disappointing but we can’t change anything,” said Gilchrist, who led the team for the third successive match in the absence of injured V.V.S. Laxman.

“We may have something exciting to know that we can still make some impact in the tournament. We have to see what other teams do, whether they get through and where are they going. We (have) got to sort out a few things for ourselves,” he said.

Chargers have only two wins from nine matches and are at the bottom of the points table.

“It is hard to enjoy when you are continuously losing matches. We can try to find out reasons. No one is to be blamed. Every player has got to take responsibility for that,” he said.

About Sunday’s match, the Australian said the last six overs bowled by his team made the difference. “The difference today was last six overs, which brought 100 runs. When that happens, you are putting yourselves under pressure. It is hard to cope with that.

“It will be kidding if we hope to win all five matches. We have to win one match and then try to back that up,” he said.

Knight Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly said it was an important win for his team.

“Before the last match, we lost four matches. So it was important for us to win and we are happy that we have won two last matches. Winning at Eden was important because it was our home ground but this game was very crucial because it was an away game and we had to win it.”

On his hopes of reaching the semifinals, Ganguly said: “We have to wait and see and keep playing every game so we can’t think of a semi-final berth yet.”

He said Riders were the most affected team in terms of players going away and hence they needed to focus on every game and try to win it. Riders lost Ricky Ponting, Brendon McCullum and Brad Hodge, who returned for their national duties.

“People keep coming and going. In terms of losing people, we were worst affected. New combinations keep coming and we hadn’t been winning. We had to do something different to change things.”

Ganguly said Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar would be fit and available for their next match.

“Shoaib doesn’t have any problem. He hasn’t played cricket for last four-five months. We were in a tight situation. If we had won four matches in a row, we would have taken a chance of playing Shoaib. We cannot risk him,” he said.

On missing his century against Chargers, he said, “If it would have happened, would have happened.

“In the longer version of the game, I would have taken my time to get the 100,” said the captain, who won the man-of-the-match award for his 91-run knock and two wickets.

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