IPL 2019: KXIP vs CSK - It was not easy for us - Ravichandran Ashwin
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IPL 2019, Match 55: KXIP vs CSK – It Was Not Easy for Us – Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin,IPL 2019, KXIP vs CSK
Ravichandran Ashwin. Photo: BCCI

Following a loss against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are still atop on the IPL points table 2019. In the match number 55 of the ongoing twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Ravichandran Ashwin’s Punjab has bagged a consolation win – to make it to the sixth spot on the points table with six wins in 14 matches. Ashwin revealed things were a bit difficult for them.

The hosts looked a different team altogether by chasing the target of 171 in 18 overs. Sam Curran has struck a winning shot to hand Punjab a six-wicket win. Mandeep Singh remained not out on 11 off nine deliveries, whereas, Curran faced seven balls for his six.

Earlier, Ashwin has opted to bat first. While batting first, Super Kings managed to post 175 for five on board in their 20 allotted overs. The visitors rode on the fifties each from Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina to set a competitive total at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday evening.

The right-handed batsman du Plessis has slammed 55-ball 96 with the help of 10 fours and four sixes.

Sam Curran (3) alongside Mohammed Shami has bowled remarkably well. The duo has shared five wickets between them. Curran conceded 35 runs in his quota of four overs, whereas, Shami proved to be economical by giving away just 17 runs off 18 deliveries.

On the other side, premium off-spinner Ashwin has stemmed the run-flow by giving away 23 off 24 deliveries.

Rahul, Gayle thrash CSK:

KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Ravichandran Ashwin
Gayle-Rahul eases things up for the KXIP. Photo by: Rahul Gulati /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

In response, Punjab openers; KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have given a quick start to the hosts. The duo added 108 for the first wicket in 10.3 overs. It is pertinent to point out that off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has removed the openers in two successive balls, in a bid to pull things back for the guest before accounting for Mayank Agarwal‘s 7 (6) wicket.

The right-handed batsman Rahul had provided an early impetus by flaying the CSK’s bowlers. He has blasted 36-ball 71. Also, his whirlwind knock included seven fours and five sixes. Also, Gayle has scored run-a-ball 28.

But the quickfire innings from Windies wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran 36 (22) has had brought Punjab closer to a victory before hosts finished off in style.

IPL 2019: Winning captain – Ravichandran Ashwin –

“It was not easy for us, but we haven’t been outplayed much in many games, except against SRH. We just haven’t been able to close out the close humdingers. He played some good cricket, and building on this is very important. There are a few reasons, we didn’t close out games, particularly in the powerplay and our middle-order,” Ashwin revealed during a post-match presentation.

KXIP to focus on the core for the next IPL edition.

“I feel that when teams plan and come back to us, we need to respond properly. That’s where some teams tick the box – they have played together for a long time. We haven’t qualified but we have to build a core group to keep going for the next few seasons,” Ashwin added.

Ashwin wants to be consistent by taking a leaf out of CSK’s book. He added Mumbai Indians (MI) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have done quite well.

“CSK has a fulcrum of how they go about things, same with MI, SRH does it differently. We have to look at that in the future. We have to post a score that you can defend and some of the best teams do that very consistently,” Ashwin said.

Ashwin hails Mike Hesson’s role as a coach. He has also remarked that auction is ‘unpredictable’ He added he as a leader is looking forward to the finest of the points.

“Varun was a massive idea in the auction, so that we didn’t have to play foreign spinners. Auctions are very unpredictable. Many teams have done well because they have retained about 5 players. I would like to bring forward the vision for a franchise going forward. Mike Hesson has done a fantastic job, to be honest, and I aim to bring a good work ethic coming into the leadership role,” he concluded.

Overall, KXIP had a decent start before losing the track midway.

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Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Sportzwiki.com, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. Twitter, Instagram: TahirIbnManzoor