Kings XI Punjab’s campaign keeps sinking as they suffered their fourth consecutive loss and fifth overall of IPL 2020. KL Rahul, their captain, who holds the Orange Cap could not make any difference as he could not even strike at 100 in a steep chase of 202 on Thursday in Dubai. KL Rahul’s men eventually went down by a staggering 69 runs to SunRisers Hyderabad and now face an uphill task to get their campaign back on track.
After electing to bat first, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow won half the battle for their side as they put on 160 for the opening wicket. The 2016 champions suffered a staggering collapse, losing six wickets from there on till the final delivery. However, their batsmen still did well enough to reach 201 in 20 overs. Only one side in Dubai had won while batting second and KXIP were already under pressure.
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had arguably formed a sturdy opening partnership this season; however, could not go beyond 11 on this occasion. West Indian batsman Nicholas Pooran kept them single-handedly in the game and waged a lone fight; however, he was left with too much to do at the end. Pooran took Abdul Samad for 28 runs in an over before falling for a 37-ball 77 that included seven sixes. For Hyderabad, Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 4-1-12-3.
“Pooran is just so good to watch and he’s batting really well” : KL Rahul
When asked KL Rahul what went wrong in the chase, he underlined that losing wickets in the powerplay does not bode for a positive start. At the same time, KL Rahul praised the death bowling that came good after faring disastrously in the last few games and lauded Nicholas Pooran for hitting the ball well while also acknowledging Ravi Bishnoi’s rise. Amid the 69-run loss, the Karnataka batsman calls for patience and backs their players, who are professional enough to understand their mistakes and bounce back eventually.
“When we lose wickets in the powerplay, it’s gonna be tough, especially when we’re playing only six batters. Getting Mayank run-out wasn’t the ideal start, it was a disaster. It was also one of those days when everything we hit in the air went to the fielders. The last five games we struggled with our death bowling, but that was a positive today. The boys showed courage and pulled things bat, you expect them to score 230-plus after that start. Pooran is just so good to watch and he’s batting really well.
Did the same thing every time he got a chance last year as well. One more thing for us to stay positive about, we know that Nicky will come good. Bishnoi’s shown a lot of heart, he’s not been afraid whether it’s the powerplay or at the back end. He’s enjoyed those occasions. All our players are professionals and they understand their problems, as a captain you just put an arm around the shoulder. Everybody in this squad is talented. Sometimes it doesn’t come off and you’ve got to be patient with them,” KL Rahul said in the post-match presentation.