Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul believes that the "short run" that played a part in their opening IPL loss to Delhi Capitals massively affected their playoff chances despite a remarkable comeback in the second leg of the tournament.
KXIP finished on 12 points after losing their last game against Chennai Super Kings after winning five games on the trot to raise visions of a playoff chance.
"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 (against Delhi Capitals on September 20), looks like it has come back to bite us," Rahul said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Before that particular match went into a Super Over, TV footage showed that square leg umpire Menon had erred in calling Chris Jordan for a ''short run'' in the third ball of the 19th over, bowled by Kagiso Rabada.
The TV replays showed that Jordan''s bat was inside the crease when he completed the first run, starting from the non-striker''s end.
However to KXIP's horror, Menon gestured that Jordan has not completed the run and only one run was added to Mayank Agarwal and the Punjab team's total.
On their loss against CSK, Rahul said that it was all about not batting too well.
"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," a disappointed Rahul said after the match.
Rahul, who finished the tournament with 670 runs from 14 games, said that there were occasions when they were patchy with both batting and bowling units not clicking at the right time.
"The team still felt like we were playing good cricket. We were patchy. The bowling and batting wasn't coming together in the first half, proud that we did it in the second half. Lots to be proud of as a team, a lot of "could have been".
Rahul said it really hurts to crash out of the tournament after such a remarkable comeback in then tournament.
"It does hurt. We have done really well to give ourselves a chance to qualify and there is lot to be proud of as a team.
"Would have been great if we had one more victory and qualify but nevertheless we did really well as a team. It will hurt for a little while, need to take the learning and come back stronger next year," he said.
Elaborating about what went wrong on Sunday, Rahul said they lacked partnerships.
"It was good wicket but we couldn't really get partnerships going. In the first six with me and Mayank getting 50 we should have capitalised and got ourselves a bigger target. The way Deepak (Hooda) batted at the end gave us a chance. In a big game like this a big total would have been nice to defend," he said.
"I don't think batting order got wrong, as batters we knew we had to put a big total on the board. We all knew it was a big game. The only thing we didn't do is soak up the pressure a little bit and stitch a couple of partnerships that would have really helped us."
The KXIP skipper also lavished praised on his team's youngsters' performances in this year's IPL.
"The youngsters have all been putting a lot of work. There was no question mark about how hard they were working. It's important for youngsters to get a couple of good game to get confidence and that's what they have shown," Rahul concluded.