Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul, on the back of his side’s shock 2-run defeat at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, expressed his bafflement over the Punjab team failing to cross the line. With 22 needed off 18 balls with 9 wickets in hand, Punjab suffered the choke of the tournament.
They say, like winning, losing, too, is a habit and Kings XI Punjab did justice to the statement at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Chasing a target of 165, Punjab, on the back of a 115-run opening stand between Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul, were cruising towards victory, but then, flabbergastingly, slumped to a two-run defeat. With 22 needed off 18 balls with 9 wickets in hand, Sunil Narine’s dismissal of Nicholas Pooran turned the game on its head and from thereon, the chasing side, KXIP, endured a monumental slump.
With KXIP needing 14 off the final over on the back of a tight 19th over from young Prasidh Krishna, Maxwell and Mandeep managed only 11 runs, off the bowling of Narine, meaning KXIP registered their fifth straight loss in the competition. Speaking in the aftermath of the shock defeat, skipper Rahul admitted that he had no answers to explain the defeat.
"I have no answers. We just need to keep coming harder in the next seven games. We bowled really really well. This was a fresh strip so we didn't know what were good lines and lengths. And the bowlers adjusted really well. And they were brave at the death too. Don't think we were satisfied at any stage in the chase. You are satisfied only when you win the game. Towards the end, we kept losing wickets, and couldn't get us over the line,” Rahul said post-match.
The victory was KKR’s second straight heist after they earlier snatched a game out of CSK’s hands at the same venue. The two-run win also took Dinesh Karthik’s men to third spot in the points table.