Despite scoring 73 off 54 balls in Kolkata Knight Riders' narrow three-run defeat against Chennai Super Kings in the curtailed game at Eden Gardens, Salman Butt was unhappy for more reasons than one. Coming off a successful five-match one-day series at home against Bangladesh - during which he scored 451 runs - Butt expected to walk in to the Kolkata side on the basis of his good form, but expressed his disappointment in not getting enough opportunities.
Having missed Kolkata's first two games due to national commitments, Butt was benched for the next two and has featured in only five of Kolkata's nine games since his arrival. He has scored 145 runs with one half century at an average of 29.
"I came here on the heels of some good scores in Pakistan, and when in form, everybody loves to play," Butt said after the match. "Sitting out just takes the form away."
When asked why Kolkata have tried out seven different opening combinations, Butt replied, "It's a good question to those who decide the batting order."
Reflecting on the defeat, Butt said his side faltered in not posting a more challenging total. Strong winds and rain forced an early finish to the match, but Chennai's position at that point - 55 for no loss after eight overs - meant that they were three runs ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis par score. Kolkata will have to try and win their three remaining games to give themselves a chance of making the semi-finals.
"Again our batting faltered. Probably we were 25 runs short on this wicket," Butt said. "We will have to try and win every game from now on. It gets difficult but we have to try and win every game."
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Chennai captain, said his team would have chased, keeping in mind a possible rain interruption after it had rained in Kolkata the previous evening. He also praised the bowlers for setting up the victory. "Our bowlers did well," Dhoni said. "They gave us a perfect start and didn't give away too many runs. Even if we had won the toss, we would have chased."