Patel ranks victory highest
Samit Patel revealed he tried to ignore England’s number-one Twenty20 status during victory over India at Kolkata’s iconic Eden Gardens.
The International Cricket Council this week confirmed the World Twenty20 holders as the top-ranked international side in the shortest form, but defeat yesterday would have relinquished that position to Sri Lanka.
Steven Finn’s 3-22 and two wickets each for Tim Bresnan and Ravi Bopara helped limit the hosts to 120 for nine. Kevin Pietersen’s classy 39-ball 53 then underpinned a successful chase.
Rather than focus on the new T20 rankings, Patel preferred to credit his team-mates.
“Number one, it’s a number. It’s good to be on top but it’s a game of Twenty20 cricket and it’s only a one-off game,” he told ecb.co.uk. “It sometimes puts you under a bit more pressure knowing you are number one and you’ve got to try to replicate that.
“But it’s been a great effort from the lads, fantastic. KP batted awesome and the way Finny bowled, Bressy and Jade [Dernbach], absolutely outstanding really.”
Finn struck twice in as many mid-innings deliveries to leave India 74 for six, but they reached a serviceable total on a slow, low wicket.
England openers Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales replied with double figures before Pietersen and Patel added 60 to close on victory.
“We exploited conditions better than they did and that’s pretty simple,” Patel, who hit 21, said. “Up top we took wickets in the first six and as a batting team it always puts you on the back step.
“They batted pretty well to get 120 and they probably thought that they had a sniff, especially on a wicket that deteriorated as it did, but I thought we played awesome.
“Halesy and Kiesy, a decent little partnership, and then obviously myself and Kev in the middle.”
Pietersen and Patel went after India’s seamers - Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar - taking 32 from the three overs they bowled between them. Patel struck the latter for six and Pietersen two boundaries off each.
“We knew that we had to hit the seamers as soon as they came on,” he added.
“We had to take the game to them and we had that kind of game plan of knocking the spinners because we know it’s going to be so tough, but targeting the seamers and I thought Kev did that magnificently.”