After suffering a seven-wicket defeat against Rajasthan Royals (RR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper KL Rahul said that the side needs to improve their bowling with the wet bowl after the opponents comfortably chased the target with 15 balls to spare.
Chasing a colossal target of 186, Ben Stokes provided the flying start for Royals. Stokes smashed 50 off 26 balls studded with three sixes and six fours.
Chris Jordan got rid of Stokes in the sixth over. Sanju Samson joined Robin Uthappa and added 51-run for the second wicket. Uthappa departed after playing a knock of 30 from 23 balls. Murugan Ashwin bagged Uthappa in the 11th over.
Skipper Steve Smith came in to bat at number four. He along with Samson built a 34-run stand for the third wicket. Samson fell short of his crease and was run out in the 15th over.
Samson played a knock of 48 runs off 25 balls. Jos Buttler and Smith then stitched a 41-run unbeaten partnership and guided the side over the line. Smith scored 31 off 20 while Buttler smashed 22 runs.
Punjab bowlers failed to scalp wickets at regular intervals and leaked runs freely.
“It was a horrible toss to lose to be honest. It did get very easy to bat later on. There was a lot of dew in the second half and that made it a bit tough for the bowlers to grip the ball. When you’re operating with two leg spinners like we are, it does make things difficult. Don’t think we bowled that badly but need to operate better with the wet ball. The dew has been unpredictable this season. You can’t prepare for it but need to adapt to it. The season has been such that nothing has come easy. We’ve had to work hard for every point,” Rahul told host broadcasters Star Sports after the match.
Earlier, Chris Gayle scored 99 off 63 including eight sixes and six fours. Gayle’s gusty knock and a cameo by Nicholas Pooran (22) powered Kings XI Punjab to 185 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
KXIP are still alive in play-off race as they are at fourth spot with 12 points in 13 games just above Rajasthan Royals (12 points) courtesy of better net run-rate. They will next take on Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, November 1.