Johannesburg:Victory against Chennai Super Kings may have snapped Kolkata Knight Riders' eight-match winless streak but to skipper Brendon McCullum it was the worst bowling and fielding performance put in by his side.
"The irony is, it was our worst fielding and bowling performance we have put in for the whole tournament," McCullum said after his 81 paved the way for Knight Riders' second win in the tournament.
No one expected the battered and bruised Knight Riders to successfully chase down 188 set by the Super Kings.
"I guess them scoring 190 almost allowed us to play freely that we couldn't stop. I think that is part and parcel of a good start. Try and get our run-rate up so that we could try and keep things in check as we headed into the last five or six overs. And as it worked out it was near to a perfect run chase," a relieved McCullum said.
Kolkata lost a number of matches in the last over and McCullum said he felt a little jittery when his team needed six runs an over towards the end.
"It's been a hell of a ride, the last three or four weeks. We have got ourselves into situations where we thought we couldn't lose games. And we managed to come up short.
"Even when six off six were needed there were parts of me which were thinking that once again we might fall short of the line," he said.
The New Zealand stumper heaped praise on Brad Hodge and Wriddhiman Saha for seeing the team through.
"I thought Brad Hodge was outstanding today. He has been great for us throughout the tournament. To hold the nerve in the manner in which he did today and to get us across the line. Same with Saha. He was great too.
"I am so pleased for all the guys who have gone through such a time over the last three or four weeks and to come out of the other side of it against a very, very good side in a tough situation is pretty pleasing," he added.
McCullum said batting second was a refreshing experience for his team especially after they failed to defend good totals in the past.
"We batted second for a start. We have had some pretty good totals to try and defend over the last couple of games. We haven't probably executed with the ball as much as we should have. We have dropped a few catches which have let us down.
"I guess with the bat in hand it was a different proposition for us. Quite refreshing, as well, knowing well that the destiny of the game was within our bats rather than being on the field and having a ball in hand. So it was quite a nice change. and I think it certainly worked for us," he said.
Having got the monkey off their backs, McCullum said the win has changed the dressing room environment.
"The feeling in the change room at the moment is fantastic. I am so pleased for the guys. I am so pleased for the change room and for all the guys that they have continually got off the camp after every hard loss.
"They continued to give their absolute all for the team. It's nice to get some reward like we did tonight," he said.
"I guess what it did show was what we are capable of as a team. And I guess the emotion as well that we saw at the end from the guys is something that we are looking to try and re-capture next year," he added.