Chasing a target of 213 runs, Kings XI Punjab suffered an epic collapse and apart from KL Rahul, no one really tried to assert himself at the crease. The loss, however, has been a massive repercussion for the Punjab-based franchise as they will have to take the hard way for a spot in the playoffs.
KL Rahul (7.5/10): Twitter was divided over KL Rahul’s innings. While some say it was a “selfish” one, others were on Rahul’s side because hey, you don’t score 79 runs at 141.07 and get chastised. The fundamental fact of the matter is he was helpless as the wickets were tumbling at the other end. The only way out for him was to play for himself and reduce the margin that would help them if things come to that in the NRR scale.
Chris Gayle (2/10): Well, the Calypso power didn’t come off tonight as the “Universe Boss” was dismissed for four off three balls. His dismissal brought a raucous cheer to the SRH fans, who knew that it would the destruction of the highest order, if he stays in the middle for longer. Gayle, for all his majesty, is an entertainer and the kick, albeit unintentional, one to send the ball out of the boundary would be right up there when the producers will compile the most entertaining moments of the day.
Mayank Agarwal (5/10): The target was not a small one and when Chris Gayle was dismissed in the third over without making any real contribution, the writing was on the wall for Mayank Agarwal. He needed to assert himself and to his credit, he did alongside his good friend KL Rahul. However, his promising innings came to a sad end courtesy a reckless shot against a Rashid Khan flighted delivery.
Nicholas Pooran (5.5/10): After Agarwal’s dismissal, Nicholas Pooran directly stepped his foot on the same accelerator as the Karnataka batsman was operating, and accumulated 21 runs off nine deliveries. However, a brilliant catch by Bhuvneshwar Kumar meant his stay was curtailed at that juncture, ending Pooran’s stay in the middle. Then again, he had limited option available in front of him.
David Miller (1/10): Okay, the mode of his dismissal was awful and add to the fact he scored a run-a-ball 11, Miller could well have been considered as one of the villains in Kings XI Punjab’s run-chase. Knowing that there was no proper batsmen available after him, it was expected of him to be out there with KL Rahul and ensure that the target was closed down a fair bit.
PrabhSimran Singh (3/10): Nervous pressure was clearly evident on PrabhSimran Singh and his first miss behind the stumps created a look of dejection. He had a chance to redeem himself with the bat, but could only manage to score 16 off 17 balls at a time when the team wanted some quick runs to reduce the margin of defeat in order to have a better chance to qualify for the last four.
Ravichandran Ashwin (4.5/10): Understanding David Warner thrives and put the opposition under pressure in the powerplay, Hyderabad made an out and out batting-friendly wicket for his farewell. There was no grip for the spinners and the swing was literally non-existent for the bowlers to have any sort of impact and in that scenario, the Punjab skipper, instead of restricting the run-flow, went for variations and Manish Pandey milked few runs to put him under pressure. However, by dismissing both Warner and Manish Pandey in the last over, he restored parity and brought Punjab back in the game. On the other hand, his failure with the bat ended Punjab’s hopes of putting SRH down.
Murugan Ashwin (5/10): With nothing going in the bowlers’ favour, Murugan Ashwin fired conventional leggies with a rather faster pace to confuse Warner. However, for that comes to fruition, he needed to ensure that he was changing the length accordingly. The Aussie pre-meditated and hit him incessantly to collect 12 runs in his last over and Murugan ended with a figure of 1/32 in his quota of four overs. However, by dismissing Wriddhiman Saha, the Tamil Nadu spinner at least found himself among wicket-takers.
Mohammed Shami (5/10): T20 cricket is a rapid game of relatives and every player is judged by the standard set by the worst of the performers on the given day. Let’s make one thing clear that Mohammed Shami was no good tonight, but a simple look at the scorecard and he seems like a Daredevil for Punjab. Of course, he was not terrible, as the last two wickets would attest, but there should’ve been a lot more discipline from him in the middle-overs when Warner was going strong.
Arshdeep Singh (3/10): Arshdeep Singh nailed the yorker perfectly alright and uprooted the leg-stump as Rashid Khan failed to squeeze that out. It was Arshdeep’s singular moment of glory tonight and there was no real application. Even cutting some slack for the fact that he was young, it wouldn’t be easy to discount the kind of full length balls he was serving on a platter to Manish Pandey and David Warner.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (0.5/10): Making a return to the Punjab team, Mujeeb’s performance was nowhere close to good. The Afghanistan leggie, who is equally efficient in adding flipper, googly and jooter without any real change in last-second action, failed to drift the ball in either direction. With the wicket behaving in a completely strange manner as it was in the last game, shunning the convention was the way forward. When the carnage ended, the Afghan had already conceded 66 runs in four overs, easily his worst performance ever.
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