The game went down to the wire but Shreyas Iyer, who played a good knock of 57 off 45 balls, couldn’t cross the final hurdle.
The Delhi skipper is aware of the fact that they need to pull back things quickly and in the next seven contests to qualify for the playoffs.
Gambhir credited Avesh Khan’s spell and backed Prithvi Shaw for his impressive cameo. Shaw, the youngest to open the batting in IPL, hit four boundaries and departed scoring 22 off ten balls. The youngster provided the perfect start, but no one could capitalise on that.
His opening partner and the skipper went for four while Glenn Maxwell failed to fire, getting out cheaply for 12.
Disappointed Gambhir look forward to the road ahead
Gambhir rued the early wickets in the power-play and said they bowled well even though they couldn’t win the vital tie.
“When you lose three wickets in the first six overs, it’s always difficult. Avesh bowled well; Shaw is a player for the future. We’ve got to win seven games. Our bowling was good today, but couldn’t cross the line” he said.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman bowled the final over for Punjab and held his nerve to take his side to a thrilling win. It came as a surprise when Chris Gayle’s name got omitted from the list. Though his opening partner KL Rahul, who scored a breezy fifty against Delhi the last time they played, chipped in with a handy 23 off 15 balls.
Karun Nair scored 34, and David Miller hit a six and a four to get to 26 off 19 balls.
A target of 144 shouldn’t have been too difficult for the hosts, and that is why it will come in, as a bitter memory when they sit down to discuss the finer points.