George Bailey grateful for second chance to reach IPL final

Kings XI, who finished top of the IPL table after the regular season, went down by 28 runs at Eden Gardens on Wednesday as Kolkata booked a spot in the final for the second time in three years.

However, it was not all doom and gloom for Bailey and his men who, as a result of their top-two finish, will face the winner of the eliminator match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians for the chance to take on the Knight Riders in Sunday’s final.

Robin Uthappa’s 42 helped Kolkata to 163-8 in the first innings, and Kings XI ultimately fell well short thanks to some tight bowling from the likes of Morne Morkel (2-23) and Umesh Yadav (3-13).

It looked as though rain would play a part at one point in the chase, with some Kings XI batsmen checking the Duckworth-Lewis calculations for their progress, but Bailey insisted that potential distraction did not play a part in their defeat.

“We were trying to convey to them that there wasn’t really the need for that,” he said in the post-match presentation.

“The team that adapts the best and puts it out of their mind probably comes out on top.

“I think they (Kolkata) played beautifully. They’re the best bowling attack in the competition, the stats show that, they’ve been very hard to get away.

“We’ve bounced back after every loss with a win in this tournament so far and let’s hope that continues.”

Winning skipper Gautam Gambhir, meanwhile, was pleased the rain held off after he had initially juggled his bowlers with the weather threatening to curtail the match with Kings XI ahead of the rate after five overs.

“You never know here how it’s going to happen because you can get those thunder showers,” he said.

“After five overs I said let’s get calm and try and win the game. The things you can’t control, you can’t control.”

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