Kings XI Punjab hosted the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 44th match of IPL 2018 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore on Saturday (May 12).
Having put an awful batting show against the Mumbai Indians on Wednesday (May 9), KKR batsmen improved their game by many folds to score a mammoth 245/6 in 20 overs against KXIP. While Sunil Narine compiled a breathtaking 36-ball 75 at the top order, Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik dented the KXIP bowlers in the middle overs with their quick-fire 31 and 50 respectively.
In reply, Punjab managed to aggregate 214/8 in their quota of 20 overs and thus conceded the match by a margin of 31 runs. Speaking after the match, KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin admitted that the target was a bit too many to achieve.
"245 was a little too many. We didn't execute our plans really well. The bowlers were just caught under the fire. They were all over the place up front and in the middle overs as well and it cost us the game at the latter end. The yorkers weren't falling in the right place," Ashwin said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"When Dre Russ came in to bat it was quite evident that we needed to bowl wider and then change up with the yorkers. It wasn't going to plan, it wasn't our day to be honest," he added.
Punjab could’ve lost the match with even bigger margin if not for KL Rahul’s jaw-dropping 29-ball 66 at the top and Ashwin’s scintillating 22-ball 45 at the later stage of the innings.
With this 30-run defeat, Punjab didn't allow their run-rate to fall too much and still stayed at No. 3 spot on the points table. No wonder, the KXIP captain is still optimistic about the play-offs berth.
"I would say we have got ourselves into an interesting situation. We still have got enough games to try and get through to the play-offs. One positive is we have never lost a game that's been hands down. The middle-order has been a concern for us and that's why we brought in Finchy. He hit the ball well. He is a world-class player and I am sure he will come good," Ashwin concluded.
KXIP will now play their next game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday (May 14) in Indore.