It’s a case of first six overs for Pietersen

April 23rd, 2009 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Durban, April 23 (IANS) Bangalore Royal Challengers skipper Kevin Pietersen has asked his team to pull up their socks in the first six overs, both while batting and bowling, when they face Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Kingsmead here Friday.
The South African-born English cricketer said the bowlers need to check the run-flow in the first six overs and the top-order should not throw their wickets at the start.

Royal Challengers made a resounding start in the IPL, beating defending champions Rajasthan Royals in the first match, but then slumped to two successive defeats against Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers.

Royal Challengers bore the brunt of two Australian greats — Matthew Hayden (Super Kings) and Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers), who gave explosive starts to their teams from where Pietersen’s side could not recover.

To make matter worse, Royal Challengers lost wickets at the top while chasing formidable targets and it was left to the middle and lower order to put up a fight.

“We have been unfortunate in the last two matches because we were at the receiving end of Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist. They have done it for Australia so often. You cannot do much when they are in such form,” Pietersen said.

“But we are not playing well in the first six overs. We are giving away too many runs and then losing wickets upfront while chasing. Our target will be how to play well in those first six overs. Otherwise, we have done well as a team. If we can sort out the initial problems in bowling and batting, I am sure everything else will fall in place,” the England captain said.

Hayden blasted 65 against Royal Challengers to propel Super Kings to 179, while Gilchrist smashed 71 to carry Chargers to 184, bettering Super Kings’ total against Royal Challengers as the tournament’s highest score so far.

“We have started well against Rajasthan Royals. Things did not go our way in the next two matches, but I am happy with the effort of the boys,” Pietersen added.

Challengers lost to Super Kings by a huge 92 run-margin while they fell short by 24 runs against Deccan Chargers Wednesday.

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