'Need to play smart cricket,' says Gambhir after humiliating loss

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Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir wants his teammates to play "smart and better" cricket in their remaining two matches after they suffered a seven-wicket defeat against Auckland Aces in a Group A match of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament, on Monday.

"We need to play some smart cricket, some better cricket than what we are capable of and try to get the results in our favour. Hopefully, we can win both our remaining games," said Gambhir at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"We need to win our next two games, that's very important for us," he added.

Gambhir said Azhar Mahmood's 10th over made all the difference in which the veteran all-rounder struck twice to dismiss Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary.

"Azhar's first over turned the entire momentum in their favour. We lost two wickets in that particular over. The way they (Auckland Aces) bowled, a lot of credit should be given to them," he said.

Auckland Aces captain Gareth Hopkins lavished praise on Mahmood for his superb all-round show and said the win against the reigning IPL champions has done their confidence a world of good.

"The win against KKR has really boosted our confidence. Those two wickets by Azhar helped us a lot in restricting them. We got off to a good start with the bat and we left it to the master Mahmood to finish it off as well as he does," he said.

Man-of-the-match Azhar Mahmood expressed happiness over his performance.

"I am quite pleased with my performance. We prepared really well, two weeks before the tournament and it has paid off. Martin Guptill and Vincent started off really well and I was able to finish off. Hopefully, I can keep my form going."

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