Abu Dhabi: After suffering a huge nine-wicket defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) finished their league games with 12 points and skipper KL Rahul recalled the journey of this IPL season, stating that "short-run game too, looks like it has come back to bite us".
In their opening game of the season against Delhi Capitals (DC), Punjab paid the price of umpiring error. A run deducted from their score in the 19th over ultimately saw them losing the match in the Super Over after the scores were tied.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis played knocks of 62 and 48 respectively to put the side over the line here at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
With this loss, Punjab have been knocked out of the play-offs race.
According to Rahul, the team did bat as per the expectations and failed to perform in the tense situation.
After losing on the close encounters in the first half of the tournament, the team gained momentum in the later part of the IPL and enjoyed a five-match long winning streak.
"It is as simple as that. We didn't bat really well. Big pressure game, we expected 180-190. We couldn't soak in the pressure. We didn't have the results going our way in the first half.
The team still felt like we were playing good cricket. We were patchy. The bowling and batting weren't coming together in the first half, proud that we did it in the second half," Rahul told host broadcasters Star Sports after the match.
Despite the end of the tournament for Punjab, Rahul is still leading the top-scorer chart so far. He has accumulated 670 runs in 14 games at an average of 55. 83 studded with a hundred and five fifties.
"Lots to be proud of as a team. a lot of "could have been". It is disappointing. We had a lot of games in our pockets and we couldn't get over the line and we only have ourselves to blame. That short-run game too, looks like it has come back to bite us," he added.
Earlier, Deepak Hooda played an unbeaten knock of 62 runs as KXIP posted a total of 153/6 in the allotted twenty overs.
Sent into bat first, KXIP got off to a good start as openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal put on 48 runs for the first wicket.
However, CSK came back strongly in the sixth over as Lungi Ngidi clean bowled Agarwal (26). Lungi Ngidi then foxed KL Rahul (29) as the KXIP skipper failed to read the slower ball, and as a result, he was bowled.
In the 11th over, Nicholas Pooran (22) was sent back to the pavilion by Shardul Thakur, and KXIP was reduced to 68/3. Imran Tahir got the big wicket of Chris Gayle (12) in the 12th over as he had the left-handed batsman adjudged leg-before wicket and as a result, KXIP was left struggling at 72/4.
Deepak Hooda and Mandeep Singh then got together at the crease and the duo put on 36 runs for the fifth wicket. In the 17th over, Ravindra Jadeja bowled Mandeep (14), and this pegged KXIP back.
However, Deepak Hooda managed to hit some big shots in the final overs, and as a result, KXIP managed to post a total of more than the 150-run mark.
For CSK, Lungi Ngidi scalped three wickets.