Played the Game Smartly, Says Punjab skipper KL Rahul After Win Against KKR


Dubai: KL Rahul smashed a gutsy fifty while Sharukh Khan slammed 22 off 9 balls as Punjab Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by five wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.

Punjab Kings needed 24 runs in the last three overs and Rahul and Shahrukh Khan helped the side register a win over KKR despite a wobble in the last over. With victory PBKS has now jumped to No. 5 in IPL Points table.

KL Rahul heaved a sigh of relief at the post-match presentation fully aware of how close Punjab Kings were from losing yet another match in the final over.

First, Rahul holed out off the second delivery after Shahrukh Khan had taken a single to give him the strike. Then, Shakrukh connected his shot well to send the ball flying to deep mid-wicket where fielder Rahul Tripathi got hold of the catch only to tip the ball over the boundary for what proved to be the winning six.

KKR were poor in the field, dropping as many as five catches, which greatly helped PBKS’ cause. “We are used to this (close finishes), but I’ll take the two points,” said Rahul at the post-match presentation.

“We played brilliantly and smartly. We realised it was a decent wicket. We went slightly defensive with the ball. There wasn’t much spin. Wanted to make the batters hit to the bigger side. With the bat also we’ve given clear roles to players,” Rahul said.

“Obviously (I) want to finish games. Weather’s not been too kind coming straight from England. Win will give us confidence and hopefully we’ll build on it,” he said.

Rahul also expressed helplessness at leaving out Indian players from the playing XI. “These are things that kill me as a captain, don’t want to leave out young Indian boys. Chris (Gayle) has left the bubble, so we had to make a few changes to see what would be our best XI,” he explained why spinner Harpreet Brar was dropped.

He also had words of praise for Shahrukh whose unbeaten cameo of 22 off 9 proved pivotal in PBKS securing their fifth win of IPL 2021.

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