At 2/1, Punjab were in a precarious situation, with Umesh Yadav swinging the new ball effectively. While most sides would enter into a shell, considering the conditions, Mayank Agarwal’s men went completely in the opposite direction, with Bhanuka Rajapaksa counter-attacking, with a nine-ball 31, where he scored three fours and three sixes.
While the attacking intent eventually faded away as Punjab were bowled out for 137, with ten balls to spare in the innings. In the post-match presentation, opposite skipper Shreyas Iyer expressed his opinion over Punjab’s approach, stating that it came as shock for the Knight Riders.
“We were stunned by Punjab's approach. We didn't expect them to come so har at us in the initial overs after losing an early wicket. But that's what I looked to do as well. We got early wickets in the powerplay. My plan was to keep my best bowlers for their hard-hitters. And that's why I kept Varun and Sunil for late. They made my job easy,” Iyer expressed in the post-match presentation.
On Umesh Yadav, Iyer insisted that he was impressed with the pacer’s fitness levels, stating that he has been working hard at the nets, for the 2022 edition of the tournament. Alongside that, the 27-year-old praised Andre Russell, calling his innings, purely “Russell Muscle”.
“They come out with their own strategies. They know what their plans are for the batsmen. They know what they are doing. To be honest, it was great to see Russell hitting. It was Russell Muscle,” he added.
“Umesh told me that he was getting older, but I told him that he was getting fitter. I see him wherever I go, at the gym, and he is working very hard. I know how to get the work done from him, and he has been a wonderful colleague.”
Player of the Match, Umesh Yadav, insisted that he has constantly had to work hard in the nets, especially with him only playing the red-ball format for the Men in Blue.
“I need to work hard. Getting older and when you know when you play just one format, I look to bowl as much as possible. When someone improves at practice, they do well during the match as well,” Umesh revealed.
Umesh stated that all the success that he has got from this season, has been down to his rigorous practise with the coaches, training to hit the stumps.
“I didn't think Mayank would charge at me on his first ball. He has played me a lot in the nets. I knew he would play off the back foot, and that's where I looked to bowl on a back of a length. Whatever is happening now, has been because of what I have practiced with my coaches. If you bowl at 140kph, you need to be accurate, you need to bowl at the stumps.”