In the 45th match between KL Rahul led Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Eoin Morgan led Kolkata night Riders (KKR), PBKS won by 5 wickets. Punjab Kings won the toss and opted to bowl first.
Put in to bat first, KKR got off to a steady start despite losing Shubman Gill. Venkatesh Iyer scored 64 whereas Rahul Tripathi scored 34 and then Nitish Rana 31. They posted 165 runs in 20 overs as well.
While chasing, both KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal added 70 runs before Shahrukh Khan’s quick cameo (22* off 9) towards the end sealed the deal for them as well.
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) October 2, 2021
After the win, KL Rahul, who won the Player of the Match, said: “I’ll take the two points (heaves a huge sigh). We played it smartly. Realised it was a decent wicket and can’t experiment too much. Went slightly defensive with the ball. Wasn’t much spin. Wanted to make the batters hit to the bigger side. With the bat also we’ve given clear roles to players. Obviously, want to finish games. Weather’s not been too kind coming straight from England. Win will give us confidence and hopefully, we’ll build on it. These are things that kill me as a captain. Don’t want to leave out the Indian boys. With a heavy heart had to leave Harpreet out. Had to see what would be our best XI with Chris leaving the bubble. Shahrukh has been batting brilliantly in the nets. Saw how strong he is in the first phase. He’s asking a lot of questions and wanting to finish games. Today he played proper cricket shots, got a few boundaries and we all know he can hit the ball a long way. He can finish games, has done it for Tamil Nadu. Often times we’ve put too much pressure on ourselves. Everybody knows we are a far better team. Putting too much pressure on ourselves is not helping. Message has been to give our best. Every game we’ve fought till the end.
Poor fielding and dropped catches cost us – Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan, KKR captain, said: “Initially we didn’t field that well, we put catches down, myself early and other guys, it has cost us. When the game gets that tight towards the end, extra few wickets down would have helped us. Equally I thought we fought hard, batted really well and probably had a par score. Not a winning score on that wicket but thought the bowlers did a good job. Kings played well and then we fought back, catches have cost us. I thought in real time it was out (referring to the Rahul catch in the 19th over). Obviously when you slow things down and analyse it.. that the third umpire thought otherwise and his decision is made, that’s final and we need to get on with it. But it would have been nice if we had got that wicket. I think everyone that went out there found it difficult to get going initially, it was not an easy wicket to start on. But after having a strong 13-14 overs we didn’t capitalize on that platform. Yeah, he (Venkatesh Iyer) is (some player). He’s a real find for us, has been with us the whole campaign and we have watched him in practice.. above all his attitude is fantastic for a guy that plays fearlessly as he does with the bat. He takes a lot of responsibility with the ball, Dre Russ leaves a huge gap in the allrounder position for us but to have someone come in and contribute is really outstanding. We have played some great cricket in the second half and have some positives to take away from tonight as well. Two more games to go, we will fight hard and hopefully get a couple of good results and be in the playoffs.”
Shahrukh Khan said: “It was really important that a set batsman was there when I went in so that I could take it on from the first ball itself. I thought I hit the last ball really well and I thought it would go deep. But I was brave enough to take the chance. As soon as I go into a situation such as this, I look to pick the gaps and I’ll look to carry this on. We need three wins on the trot, and we have started off well today. It’s important we stick to the process and not think too far ahead.”