We are a strong side to beat if we play to our potential: Gambhir

Mohali: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir praised his bowlers for restricting the Kings XI Punjab to a low score on a flat track and gave them the credit for the convincing victory Wednesday night in the Indian Premier League (IPL) clash here.

The Knight Riders, chasing 125 for victory, cantered to an eight-wicket win with 21 balls to spare at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium. Kings XI Punjab were lacklustre. Gambhir was the top scorer with an unbeaten 66 off 44 balls here.

Electing to bat, Punjab were restricted to 124 for seven by some excellent bowling by Brett Lee (2-26), Sunil Narine (2-24) and Rajat Bhatia (1-23).

Gambhir praised Bhatia for his brilliant death bowling and said the Delhi medium pacer should have been adjudged the player of the match.

"I have always believed if we play to our potential, we are a strong side to beat. The way we restricted them was an excellent effort on such a flat wicket. My Man of the Match, to be honest, is Rajat Bhatia," Gambhir said.

A disappointed captain of the Kings XI Punjab, Adam Gilchrist felt his injury took the impetus out of their innings.

The former Australian wicketkeeper hobbled off the pitch in the sixth over with a hamstring injury but returned later to score a gritty 40 off 30 balls.

"(My injury) took the direction out of our innings. Hard to say what was a good score on this wicket," he said. (IANS)