Punjab Kings’ stand-in skipper Sam Curran described the win at the Wankhede on Saturday as ‘special’, but asserted that Arshdeep Singh and Nathan Ellis, who bowled out of their skin to defend the target in the second innings, deserved the Player of the Match award more than him.
Curran did the job with the bat for Punjab courtesy a 29-ball 55 but he was, however, very expensive with the ball, going for 0/41 in his 3 overs. Ellis and Arshdeep, in contrast, finished with figures of 1/44 and 4/29 respectively, bowling the tough overs, with the latter astonishingly conceding just 11 off his last two overs with Mumbai needing 40 off 3 overs.
“Special win. Amazing ground, played many games with different sides. Great to get the win. Don't think I should be getting the award, with the way our pacers finished the match, Arshdeep and Nathan were incredible and the spinners bowled well,” Curran, named Player of the Match, said at the post-match presentation.
But though he didn’t fire with the ball, Curran’s contribution with the bat was crucial. Punjab were reeling at 83/4 but Curran, after a slow start, turned it on and got the side within touching distance of 200. PBKS were 197/6 by the time Curran departed and a sensational cameo from Jitesh Sharma took the side to 214.
Curran revealed that he consciously ensured to give himself time, having gone too hard too early in the previous few games.
“When I went in to bat, I knew I had to give myself a chance. In the previous games, I've looked to go big a little too early, reflected on that. But we got a long line-up and we saw Jitesh went bang-bang and we know he's got that.
“He's a massive player and we just have to take our responsibility as players come back from injuries.”
PBKS were in deep trouble when news emerged that Dhawan would miss a few games with injury, but under Curran, the side have won two in three matches. Curran said that Dhawan will be back ‘soon’ and credited the coach and the support staff for guiding him through the past week.
“Two from three, I think we can go back to Shikhar. Great experience, the coaches and the local guys are helping me through. Bayliss, Haddin and Co have created a good, relaxed environment. We've won a few early games which helps,” Curran said.
Punjab have a five-day break before taking on Lucknow Super Giants in Mohali on Friday, April 28.