KL Rahul, Kings XI Punjab captain, praised pace spearhead Mohammed Shami for his ability and clarity of thought to bowl six consecutive yorkers in the Super Over while defending just five runs in their dramatic IPL match against Mumbai Indians at Dubai.
The match ended in a tie in the regulation 20 overs with both teams scoring exactly 176/6, and KXIP could only score five runs in the first Super Over.
KL Rahul: One Can Never Prepare For Super Overs
Mohammed Shami bowled brilliantly in Super Over to MI batsmen Quinton De Kock and Rohit Sharma to restrict Mumbai Indians to the same score. KXIP eventually won the match in the second Super Over by successfully chasing 12 runs with Chris Gayle hitting a first-ball six and Mayank Agarwal hitting successive boundaries.
“You can never prepare for Super Overs. No team does. You trust your bowler, and let them believe their instinct and gut,” KL Rahul said at the post-match presentation.
“He (Shami) was very clear he wanted to go with six yorkers. He has been phenomenal, and keeps getting better every game. It is important that senior players win the games for the team.”
KL Rahul, who was however named man of the match for his 77 off 51 balls expressed happiness at the side’s victory but said his side would not want to make a habit of winning in close encounters.
“It is not the first time. But we don’t want to make a habit out of it. We will take the two points in the end. “
“In the games that we have lost, even then we have played well and just not been able to get over the line.”
This match was KXIP’s second tied the match in IPL 2020. They had lost to Delhi in their first match in Super Over. They lost against Rajasthan Royals too by failing to defend 223. They lost to KKR too by 2 runs after building the foundation with both their openers stitching 115 runs but failed in the middle overs.
KL Rahul Trusts Chris Gayle And Nicholas Pooran To Play Spinners Well And Want To Take One Game At A Time
KL Rahul said the wicket was on the slightly slower side, increasing the significance of scoring quick runs in the Powerplay.
“I knew Chris (Gayle) and (Nicholas) Pooran… I trust them to take down spinners. So Chris coming in has made my job easier as a batter.
“On his side winning two back-to-back close matches, he said, “We still want to take it one game at a time.”
“We know we need to win everything from here, but we can’t forget the processes that lead to a win.”
Mumbai Indians batsman and vice-captain Kieron Pollard said the match showed everyone that every run counted.
“In T20 cricket, 1 run and 2 runs are very very crucial. I am sure it was great for viewership. KXIP got the better of us and deserved the two points. KL again batted beautifully, going down to a Super Over, congratulations to them,” he said.
“Around the 11-12 over, we knew we were a couple of overs behind. Getting 170-odd, that was a good total – above-par on a track that was on the slower side. With the dimensions, we thought we can defend that.”
Mayank Agarwal saved 5 runs for his team by his outstanding fielding. The target was 12 instead of 17 in 2nd Super Over as Mayank Agarwal saved a certain 6.
Despite the loss, Kieron Pollard who came to the media instead of regular skipper Rohit Sharma said his side played good cricket.
“It’s a matter of trying to improve each and every time. There are a couple of areas we need to improve on. We have a four-day break, enough time to reflect. The guys are confident in the dressing room.
“I was told that he (Rohit) is not feeling well (after the loss). We’ll see what happens. He’s a fighter,” said the West Indian who remained not out on 34 off just 12 balls.
Mumbai Indians face Chennai next on 23rd October while KXIP face table topper Delhi next on 20th October.