Gambhir wants his Knights on their mettle

Kolkata skipper Gautam Gautam Gambhir felt it was vital for his men to play with maximum intensity against Dolphins on Monday to prepare for the Champions League T20 semi-finals (Kolkata 2/1 Outright Winner).

The Knight Riders had already booked their spot in the last four of the sub-continental event with three straight Group A wins.

But they put the gloss on another successful group campaign with a 36-run victory over the South Africans to record their 13th consecutive 20-over victory.

Waiting for them in the last four on October 2 will be Hobart Hurricanes, who won three of their Group B matches to qualify as runners-up behind Kings XI Punjab (Hobart 5/1 Outright Winner).

It would have been easy for the IPL side to coast through their final game with qualification assured but they played with the intensity of a team that means business and have the title firmly on their mind.

And Gambhir, who made only 12 but watched as team-mates Robin Uthappa (85 not out) and Manish Pandey (76 not out) smashed the ball to all parts, made it clear that he wants to test his players all the time to keep them sharp.

“It was as important not to be complacent,” he told reporters after the match. “We have been chasing the last few games and wanted to let our batters with freedom without scoreboard pressure.

“With the dew it was getting tough for spinners and we wanted to put our bowlers under pressure as well.”

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