LOSING is never easy and our loss to Team Pune was obviously very disappointing. All the boys were excited about playing our first game at home and everyone wanted to give our fans something to celebrate. Unfortunately, though, we made a few mistakes and to the credit of Pune, they made us pay for those errors. That's the thing with T20 cricket, you can play good cricket for 90 per cent of the game but still lose.
I thought we bowled pretty well and fielded aggressively. We took wickets at regular intervals and kept them under pressure for most of the innings. The main frustration was that Steve Smith managed to put together a Power Performance right at the end. Smith's 32-ball 39 was a good knock and it gave Pune a fighting total.
Still, we backed ourselves to win, chasing just 129 for 9. However, in the space of just 12 deliveries as we slumped to 5 for 3, Pune were suddenly the favourites. After that we were on the backfoot. We needed a Power Performance from someone but it was tough against some skilful spin bowling. Despite the best efforts of James (Franklin) and Dinesh (Karthik), we came up short.
We've had a couple of days to soak up the lessons in that defeat and we're ready for the next challenge: Team Hyderabad at Visakhapatnam. I'm not sure what the conditions will be like as I've only played in Vizag once before, for Sri Lanka when Chamara Silva powered his way to a century in 2007, but I'mÂ looking forward to playing there.
It will give me a chance to renew my friendly rivalry with Sanga. It's always fun playing against your teammates and a challenge too because he is one of the best players in the world right now. Hopefully, I'll come out on top this time.
Hyderabad lost their opening game to Team Chennai by a sizeable margin in the end, but there were times when they were really in the game with the ball. We'll be seeking to raise our game several notches and must make sure that we make less mistakes than the other night.
- Lasith Malinga