A B de Villiers, whose unbeaten 54 set up Royal Challengers Bangalore's six-wicket win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala in their IPL encounter on Saturday, said his side's experience made all the difference as the match was still in balance till the end.
"The match was still even by the 18th over. We had the experience to pull it back. I am happy to have helped the team win and that too at the opening match," he said after the match.
RCB needed 33 from the last three overs with six wickets in hand, but they scored the required runs in just 1.4 overs with a flurry of fours and sixes to win the match with eight balls to spare.
"We started off scratchy but that was expected in the first game of the IPL. It was awesome vibe, the IPL is always nice to play in," said de Villiers, who was adjudged man-of-the-match.
He said coach Ray Jennings gave him valuable advice during the second strategic time-out and that helped.
RCB captain Daniel Vettori praised the Nehru stadium wicket for the bounce and carry it had in the match.
"It was a good wicket; there was enough bounce there. A good cricket wicket, good for the crowd ... I like bowling on these sort of wickets," said Vettori, when asked if he was surprised with a wicket like that in the sub-continent.
"It was a good target though the wicket was good to bat on. We played well to chase it down. De Villiers was fantastic and others also chipped in," he said.
Kochi captain Mahela Jayawardene attributed his side's loss in their debut match to the failure to hold their nerve.
"It was a defendable target. I thought we batted well but, at the end, we were on the losing side," he said.
"We took wickets but they kept chasing. We put ourselves under pressure and a couple of overs cost us dear. We tried to take the pace off the ball but it didn't work," he added.