Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan, on the back of his side’s crushing defeat at the hands of Punjab, admitted that KKR lost the game with the bat and should ideally have scored 40-50 than what they managed to. Chasing a meagre 150, KXIP dusted off the target in under 19 overs.
Built up as the most important fixture of IPL 2020, Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders got off to the most anti-climactic start imaginable in Sharjah as KKR, batting first, lost their first 10 wickets for just 3 runs. The early rattling, however, did not affect the batting side as skipper Eoin Morgan and young Shubman Gill counter-attacked in the middle but a flurry of wickets post the 10th over meant that 149 was all KKR managed. It was never going to be enough on a good batting wicket and KXIP’s chase proved the same, as Gayle and Mandeep powered them to a dominant eight-wicket win.
Speaking post-match, Morgan, who scored a 25-ball 40, admitted that KKR needed at least 185-190 to pose a challenge to Kings XI on a good batting wicket.
"Particularly here in Sharjah you have to counterattack if you lose wickets early. Disappointing our partnership couldn't get more. When we were three down, it was about getting a partnership. We thought 185-190 would have kept us in the game, wouldn't have been a match-winning total by any stretch. But we kept losing wickets,” Morgan said post match.
This was KKR’s third straight defeat in Sharjah, having already lost their encounters versus Delhi and Bangalore at the venue earlier in the tournament. Barring Abu Dhabi, the Knight Riders have largely struggled in other venues and Morgan hoped that his side would adjust to the conditions in Dubai, where they will play their next game versus CSK. The KKR skipper also noted that the bowling performance in the first 10 overs was a positive for his side.
“That's one of the challenges this year, going from ground to ground. Hopefully we adjust to the conditions in Dubai. That's the nature of the tournament, there are not many bad sides. Our faith is in our own hands in the last two games. I think Gill scoring runs and restricting the Kings till the 11th or 12th over, those were the positives.”
The defeat means the maximum KKR can get to is only 16 points, and will most likely have to rely on other results to go their way to qualify for the playoffs, due to their dismal Net Run Rate.