Kings XI Punjab went through yet another unfortunate loss in the 24th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) against Kolkata Knight Riders at Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Chasing a 165-run target, skipper KL Rahul and Myanak Agarwal went off to an outstanding start. They stitched a 100-plus opening stand and almost took away the game from the hands of KKR.
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But soon there was major twist in the play. The Dinesh Karthik-led side had the devil’s own luck as Sunil Narine and Prasidh Krishna collectively scalped 4 wickets and took the game home by 2 runs.
This heart-wrenching defeat left KXIP captain dejected. He certainly had no words to explain the reason of the loss, which came after toiling hard. Rahul had ‘no answers’ to give.
“We started well, we got close, but honestly I have no answers. Just have to keep coming hard in the next seven and win a few,” KL Rahul said at the post-match presentation.
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The skipper heaped praises on the bowling unit for bouncing back and restricting KKR to 164/5. They executed the plans very well and succeeded in picking up early wickets.
“We bowled well, it’s the first game on this new strip, but the bowlers adapted well by swinging the ball early and getting wickets in the powerplay, which is the only way to keep them below 180. Even in the death they did well to mix it up, trying to bowl bouncers and bluff the batsmen with wide yorkers. That’s what we asked of them and they executed well,” he added.
Rahul agreed that loosing wickets in quick successions caused their failure in the death overs. They eventually fell short of the target and lost the game by a whisker.
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“We weren’t satisfied at any stage during the run-chase, you’re only satisfied when you win. Me and Mayank started off well, but if you lose wickets in clusters at the end, it’s hard to get over the line,” Rahul said.
After losing 4 matches on a row, they will face Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore next on October 15, at the Sharjah Cricket Ground.