Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul said that his side failed to adapt on a new pitch and fell 20-30 runs short that led to a five-wicket defeat over Kolkata Knight Riders here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Monday evening. A spirited bowling performance from KKR restricted Punjab Kings to 123/9 in their allotted 20 overs. In reply, skipper Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi led the run-chase and scored 47* and 41 runs respectively to put the side over the line with 20 balls to spare.
"I really don't know what to say, it was a poor performance from us. We should have adapted better on a new pitch, we could have applied a lot more with the bat and get that extra 20-30 runs. The wicket was a bit low and slow, but 120-130 was not enough. A few soft dismissals are that's costing us the game. The pitch was a bit two-paced and stayed up and down as well. It was hard in the first six overs to understand the good shots to play on this pitch," Rahul said after the match.
"It was expected that the pitch was difficult to assess at a new venue when you're batting first, but we should have assessed and adapted quickly but we couldn't do that. We have a few more games here and we hope to learn from our mistakes," he added. Rahul further lauded Ravi Bishnoi for taking a stunning catch in the outfield. Bishnoi ran to his right from deep midwicket and put in a sliding dive at just the right time to pluck the ball to send Sunil Narine (0) back to the pavilion.
"That was a stunning catch (from Bishnoi), we've been a good fielding side. We have Jonty Rhodes who pushes the boys at every training session. He's a tough taskmaster and he puts everyone to test. He has great energy off the field and that rubs off on the players," he said.
Chasing 124, KKR had a wobbly start as they three wickets inside the first three overs. Nitish Rana (0), Shubman Gill (9) and Narine (0) departed cheaply as Punjab bowlers gave their all to defend the low score. But the 66-run stand between Morgan and Tripathi for the fourth wicket depleted any chances of a turn-around in the encounter. The duo added runs quickly and took charge on Punjab bowlers. Deepak Hooda bagged Tripathi in the 11th over after he had scored 41 runs studded with seven fours.
Andre Russell joined Morgan in the middle after Tripathi's dismissal. Russell's nine-run stint ended in the 15th over as a sharp throw from Arshdeep Singh hit the base of the stumps and found him short of the crease. Dinesh Karthik came in to bat at number seven. Karthik and Morgan then stitched an unbeaten 28-run match-winning stand. Karthik remained unbeaten on 12 runs while Morgan scored not out 47 off 40 including two sixes and four 4s. For Punjab, Mohammed Shami, Moises Henriques, Arshdeep and Hooda picked one wicket each.