Murugan Ashwin was happy that his side Kings XI Punjab finally got a taste of victory after KXIP defeated RCB by eight wickets after suffering six defeats in seven matches. Both times, they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore. They defeated RCB by a mammoth 97 runs in the first half.
This time, 41 year old Chris Gayle, who has several records in IPL to his name like that of highest individual score, maximum sixes and centuries finally played a match after being fit and recovering from food poisoning. He scored 53 while skipper KL Rahul remained unbeaten on 61 and opener in form batsman Mayank Agarwal scored 45. Nicholas Pooran hit a six in the very first ball he faced in the last ball of KXIP’s innings after Chris Gayle who batted at No. 3 was run out in the penultimate delivery.
Murugan Ashwin: Good To Get A Win
Murugan Ashwin, for his part was one of the wrecker in chief for KXIP by bagging two wickets conceding only 23 runs at an economy rate of below six in his quota of four overs. Murugan Ashwin had the best figures in RCB match and is having a great season so far with six wickets in only three matches at an extraordinary average of only 10.
Murugan Ashwin has picked up 21 wickets from 25 matches averaging 29. Three changes were made in KXIP squad as Deepak Hooda, Chris Gayle and Murugan Ashwin came in place of Mandeep Singh, Prabh Simran Singh and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
“It is good to get a win. Chris coming back to the side gives a lot of energy to the team. The mood in the camp was always high even we were losing. We did not lose our spirit, we know that we are playing good cricket and it is just getting over the line. Really happy that we won a game and it is about repeating it game after game,” Ashwin said at the post-match press conference.
“Definitely, the wicket was holding a bit but having said that it is all about executing the length as well. If you miss your length you might get hit for a six considering how small the ground is. You can bowl five good balls and one ball can get to a six and it can just mess up the over. It did have something for the spinners in it,” the spinner said.
“The bowl was coming out well, I was watching the previous games which were played on this wicket, even, watched the last game which RCB played and how their spinners bowled. I took a que out of their bowling spell and just wanted to hit the right lengths and hit the ball into the wickets,” he added.
Chris Gayle was run out by the combination of Devdutt Padikkal and wicket-keeper AB De Villiers in the penultimate delivery when scores were tied, and one run was needed for victory but Nicholas Pooran lofted the ball for six which was bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal over long on. Earlier MOM KL Rahul remained unbeaten on 61 while Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle were dismissed for 45 and 53 respectively.
Murugan Ashwin: All Games In T20 Are Really Close
Despite the win, KXIP stay at the bottom of the points table with only two wins in eight matches and as many as six defeats. RCB are at the 3rd position though with five wins and three losses with two losses against KXIP and one loss to table toppers Delhi Capitals. RCB and MI match were tied but RCB won in Super Over.
“This is a game of T20 and all the games are really close. It is bat vs ball and it is about who gets the better of the other ultimately. Happy that we crossed the line this time it is about replicating these moments and making sure that these close finishes come towards us so that points table looks different. Take each game at a time and play the best you can on the field,” he said.
KXIP had won both their games against RCB-the first match was won by 97 runs after skipper Lokesh Rahul scored an unbeaten 132. In the next match, KXIP lost to RR despite Mayank Agarwal’s ton as they failed to defend even 223.
The other close games were against Delhi Capitals where scores were tied as DC won the Super Over. They lost to Kolkata Knight Riders by only two runs after they made heavy weather of 165 runs target despite cruising towards victory after stitching 115 runs opening stand.
KXIP face Mumbai Indians next on 18th October in the 36th match.