At 28/2, Punjab were in a lot of bother, having lost their ever-dependable skipper, Shikhar Dhawan. But the partnership between Matthew Short and Bhanuka Rajapaksa gave the hosts plenty of hope through the middle-overs.
From thereon, however, their lacklustre batting approach cost them big time, as they only reached 153 after 20 overs. Their batters had played 56 dot balls in the entire innings, something that came to bite them in the second innings when they lost the encounter by just one ball.
Punjab skipper Shikhar Dhawan pointed out that the lack of run-scoring deliveries definitely had a big say on the outcome of the game, and reckoned that they did not put as many runs on board as they should have.
“Agree with you on that thing. We did not put many runs on the board. We have to rectify that thing going forward. Absolutely - if you see the number of dot balls, if a team plays 56 balls, you end up losing the game. Losing early wickets puts you on the back foot and we need to work on that,” said Dhawan at the post-match presentation.
There was a widespread expectation that Punjab would have Liam Livingstone fit and ready for the clash but a pulled muscle to the English all-rounder kept him away from the action. Dhawan insisted that Livingstone will be fit before the team’s next clash.
“Very proud of the bowlers, it was not a big total and taking the game till the end was tremendous. He came for practice yesterday, he pulled his muscle and in another 2-3 days, he should be good to go [on Liam Livingstone's fitness].”
For the chasing Titans, it was Shubman Gill, who stood as a pillar of strength. The right-hander smacked 67 runs off just 49 deliveries, including hitting seven boundaries and one six.
“Wicket got a bit challenging in the end. Was harder to hit sixes with the old ball. It's a big ground. Was important to keep hitting the gaps, and run as hard as possible. I should've finished the match,” said Gill at the post-match presentation.
“Rahul Tewatia and Kings XI is a love story. In these type of games, there's definitely pressure on both teams. It's about trying to minimise dot balls. It was difficult for them also to score runs against old ball,” Gill had to add.