Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) cruised to their first win in this year’s IPL, comprehensively defeating the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 97 runs. Batting first, KXIP put up a total of 206, largely thanks to an unbeaten 132 from KL Rahul. In reply, RCB never really looked like they were in with a chance of chasing down the target, losing their first three wickets inside the first three overs, eventually being bundled out for 109 by the KXIP bowlers.
Here are some quotes from the game:
Yuzvendra Chahal (after the first innings): We thought we’d get a target of 160-170, but the wicket is good for batting so I think we can chase the total. I’ve been varying my pace, watching the batsman’s feet, and working on the googlies, particularly the quicker and the slower googlies. I’ve worked quite hard in the 21 days we’ve had here. The dew has already set in and I think they will struggle to grip it. We can chase this down.
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Virat Kohli, RCB captain: Yeah it didn’t (go well). I think we were good in the middle phase with the ball, they (KXIP) got off to a decent start and we pulled things back nicely. I have to stand in front and take the brunt of it, not the best day in the office, couple of important chances of KL when he was set and that cost us 35-40 runs at a later stage. Maybe if we restricted them to 180 we wouldn’t have been under pressure from ball one of the chase.
We know exactly where we went wrong and I have to put my hand up and say a couple of important chances went down. There are days when these kind of things happen on the cricket field, they happen and we have to accept them. We have had a good game, we have had a bad game and now it is time to move on. Learn from the mistakes we make.
We did pretty well closing in on the second time out. Those are the moments, we pulled things back nicely so we understand how to do that as a team. He (Philippe) has batted at the top of the order for Western Australia and done well in the BBL as well, early days in the tournament so we thought we will maximize his ability and see how we go from thereon. We thought we will give ourselves a bit of depth in the middle overs.
Mohammed Shami (KXIP), Purple cap holder: I have the responsibility to deliver with the new ball, help my bowling partners and try to hit the right areas. We also have a good batting line up and our bowling is more improved this year. It is a young unit with a good mix of experience and even skill-wise we are good. Depends on how the wickets are over there (in Sharjah), if there is moisture we will try to bowl full and if it is dry we bowl back of a length. That will be the plan. We can only assess after reaching there and seeing the pitch.
KL Rahul, KXIP captain and Player of The Match: I have actually been not so confident. I had a chat with Maxi yesterday, he said how are you feeling, I said that I am not feeling completely in control of my batting, he said you must be joking, you are hitting really well. Quite honestly I was nervous but I knew if I spend time in the middle, hit a few balls from the middle of the bat, it will all settle down.
I try to do (the same routines as I did when I was a player) but as a captain, you have shortened time and you are running around and doing a lot of things. I still try to maintain the same routine. Once I am in the middle and during the toss is the only time I feel like a captain and otherwise I try to balance being a player and the captain.
It’s as complete a team performance as it can get. We had few different plans going into this game. We knew RCB have a power-packed batting line up and we had to get 2-3 wickets upfront and that also meant putting runs on the board, we know what these guys can do if they get set. The analyst, coaches, and the management will be happy.
Something that has impressed me in him (Bishnoi’s heart of coming back even after an expensive start). I watched the U-19 World Cup. He has a lot of fight in him. Every time I throw the ball he wants to do well, he was a little nervous bowling at guys like Finchy and AB, once he got through that he did well.