Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper, Ravichandran Ashwin has rued their poor batting effort as Punjab lost the low-scoring contest by 13 runs to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday (April 26).

Chasing a modest total of 133 runs, it was looking to be another cakewalk for Punjab with an in-form batting order. Meanwhile, they started in the same manner with Chris Gayle and KL Rahul scored 55 runs in the first eight overs.

Since then, it was a landslide that has raised questions on Punjab’s middle-order.

As Rahul and Gayle departed, the scorecard read 57 for two, with Kings XI needing 76 in little over 11 overs.

The next eight batsmen could, however, manage just 62 runs as Punjab slumped to a 13-run loss. Ashwin, while giving credit to Sunrisers bowlers, said that the batsmen played unnecessarily risky shots.

These things (batting collapse) happen in this kind of a tournament and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling made the difference. We lost wickets throughout the middle (overs) and I thought we kept attacking a little too much and lost few wickets,” Ashwin said.

Middle-order will come good in due time

Indeed, apart of Rahul and Karun Nair, all other batsmen got playing rash shots. It also shifts focus to the roles Gayle and Rahul have played in Kings XI line-up.

Rahul is their top-scorer (268 runs in seven matches) while Gayle has contributed 252 runs in just four games. Apart from them, Nair has shown some resistance with 186 runs in six outings.

Ashwin hoped that middle-order will come good at an opportune time.

We do have finishers but they are not coming off. You won’t get all the puzzles solved at once. Hopefully, some of the people whom we have trusted will come good at the right time. That’s how you get going. They are quality players,” he said.

Credit: BCCI

Ravichandran Ashwin also blamed team’s poor fielding as the reason behind the loss.

Meanwhile, Punjab dropped few chances which gave Hyderabad opportunities to score extra runs.

However, one positive for Kings XI was Ankit Rajpoot’s haul of five for 14. Rajpoot bowled some excellent line and length and was lauded by everybody.

He has been bowling pretty well. He is tall, a bit nippy and can swing the ball around. I though he hit good length in the first six overs while the wicket held a bit. Not every day you get five wickets in T20. It was a good job,” Ashwin concluded.

Also read: Chris Gayle plays the role of a part-time wicket-keeper