After beating Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets on Friday, winning captain KL Rahul has stated that the victory will give the team confidence and his men will build on that in the coming matches. During the match, Rahul Shikhar surpassed Dhawan’s run-tally to become the new Orange Cap holder
The Punjab Kings (PBKS) won the toss and asked the Kolkata Knight Riders to bat first in Dubai on Friday. In-form Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathy teamed up for a 72-run tie before Shubman Gill (7) fell to Arshdeep Singh early in the innings. Iyer stood firmly to one side, scoring 67 runs off 49 balls before his dismissal in the 15th over. Nitish Rana (31) had a cameo role leading his team to 165/7. Arshdeep Singh was the bowlers’ choice as he scalped three wickets by conceding 32 runs. Ravi Bishnoi limited runflow in the middle overs and scalped two wickets by conceding just 22 runs.
Responding to KKR’s 165, Mayank Agarwal (40) and KL Rahul closed a 70-run tie before the first took off in the 9th over. The PBKS captain scored his fifth fifty of the season by hitting a flat six off Tim Southee in the 15th over. Rahul with his 67 from 55 balls outperformed Shikhar Dhawan in the race for the Orange Cap. Shahrukh Khan (22* from 9 balls), who played his first match in the UAE leg, skipped a six from the last to claim his team’s fifth win in IPL 2021. KL Rahul was named Man of the Match for his lavish innings that kept PBKS’ hopes in the tournament alive.
After a reckless performance with the bat that resulted in his team’s five-wicket win, KL Rahul stated that the win against Kolkata will instill confidence in the team and the players will build on that in the coming matches. The PBKS captain praised Sharukh Khan for his brief cameo at the end of the innings and stated that the Tamil Nadu batsman played quality cricket against KRR.
“I’ll take the two points (sigh deeply). We played it smart. We realized it was quite a wicket and I can’t experiment too much. Went a bit defensively with the ball. Didn’t have much spin. Wanted to hit the batters to the bigger side. With the bat we have also given clear roles to players. Of course we want to finish matches. The weather is not too nice, straight from England. Winning gives us confidence and hopefully we build on it “These are things that kill me as captain. I don’t want to leave out the Indian guys. It was with a heavy heart that I had to let Harpreet out,” Rahul said after the game.
“Had to see what our best XI would be with Chris coming out of the bubble. Shahrukh has struck in the nets brilliantly. Saw how strong he is in the first phase. He asks a lot of questions and wants to finish matches. Today he played good cricket shots, a few limits and we all know he can hit the ball far. He can finish matches, did it for Tamil Nadu. Many times we put too much pressure on ourselves. Everyone knows we are a A much better team. Too much pressure on ourselves Putting doesn’t help. The message is that we have to do our best. Every game we fought to the end,” he added.
With the win over KKR, the KL Rahul-led team has moved up to fifth position, and the Punjab Kings will face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday, October 3.
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