Punjab Kings (PBKS) coach Anil Kumble said that the two-run defeat to Rajasthan Royals was a “difficult pull to swallow” for the side. The Kings, who seemed cruising to victory at for a large part of the 186-run chase, faltered in the final two overs as the side failed to score 8 runs in the final 12 balls.
Kumble said that such losses have become a “pattern” for the Punjab Kings but the side won’t be bogged down by the loss.
“It has become a pattern for us, especially when we come to Dubai. There was a clear message saying that we need to finish the game in 19th over, unfortunately we let it till the end. (In the) last couple of balls, it becomes a lottery but credit to how Tyagi bowled the last over,” said Kumble in the post-match press conference.
“It was pretty obvious that he would bowl wide outside the off stump but somehow our batters didn’t take the right option. It has become a pattern, something we need to discuss and sort out, we don’t want to get bogged down by this defeat. It’s certainly a difficult pill to swallow.”
Kumble also looked at the positives from the game, praising his bowlers for staging a brilliant comeback after the Royals were once cruising at 136/3 in 14 overs and looked set for a 200+ score.
“It was a good wicket, we really came back in last four overs. We gave just about 20 runs and took 6 wickets. Arshdeep, Shami, Brar bowled brilliantly on a tough pitch. At one stage RR were looking to score 200-210, so to squeeze the last four overs and pick up 6 wickets, the bowling effort was really good,” said Kumble.
“In batting, we were cruising till the 17th over. Unfortunately, 18th, 19th pulled us back. After the six Markram hit, we only got singles and took it to the last over and we couldn’t finish.
“Batters certainly know what their scoring shots are, it isn’t just about the scoops. It also boils down to particular batter. When you need 8 runs in 12 balls, you don’t need a scoop. All you need is a bit of hitting, and even with other batter, he needs five or six balls to get those runs. When it goes to last few balls, it becomes hard,” Kumble said about the batting in the final overs.
With this loss, Punjab Kings fall to seventh position in the IPL 2021 table with six points in 9 matches. With only five games remaining for the side, PBKS face an uphill task to stage a comeback and secure a place in the playoffs.