KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal put down the platform with a steady 91-run stand in Punjab Kings’ 165-run chase against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah on Sunday. However, the lack of contributions from the middle class again resulted in the demise of PBKS, handing them their eighth loss of the season.
Rahul (39) and Agarwal (57) kept up the required pace, with the latter playing the aggressor in an opening partnership of 65 balls and 91 runs. However, Nicholas Pooran (3), Aiden Markram (20) and Sarfaraz Khan (0) provided little momentum in the middle-overs as the pressure of the required speed continued to build.
Shahrukh Khan (16 out of 11) and Moises Henriques (12* out of 9) took a couple of big hits towards the end, but that wasn’t enough for the Kings to deprive RCB of their eighth win of the season.
Rahul couldn’t have been more disappointed with the team’s batting performance on the day and throughout the season.
“I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy wearing it (the orange cap), but I would have been happier if we had qualified. It was a score that was below par. Maybe 10-15 runs extra. As a man like Maxwell coming in such form makes it difficult,” he said after the game.
But with the bat, the past few years have been disappointing. If I have to be honest, our at bat has let us down. I’m lying when I say I don’t think I’m playing a role the team demands. It’s not something I like, but when you lead the team, you have to take responsibility.
“In T20, the top two or three score a large part of the runs. You won’t have people in the middle order scoring 500-600 runs. But we missed someone in the middle scoring those 30-40 quick runs. Shahrukh and some other Indian young guys are doing well.”
Mathematically speaking, Punjab Kings still have a great chance to finish fourth, subject to other results in the competition. They play against table toppers Chennai Super Kings in their last league match on Thursday 7 October in Dubai.
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