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IPL 2019 | We Were in The Chase But Could Have Played Crunch Situations Better: Ravichandran Ashwin

Cricketnext Staff |April 25, 2019, 10:32 AM IST
IPL 2019 | We Were in The Chase But Could Have Played Crunch Situations Better: Ravichandran Ashwin

Chasing 202 is never easy in T20 cricket but Kings XI Punjab were very much in the game till the last three overs of their match against the Royals Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday night.

Needing 36 runs to win off the last 18 balls, you would expect most teams to chase down the target but RCB pacemen Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini bowled sensationally to set up a 17-run win for the hosts at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“Our execution went quite a bit wrong towards the end. Firstly, 3 overs for 60 runs while bowling is not ideal but we were in the chase all along. Teams that play the crunch situations well, the crunch couple of balls end up winning the games in T20. That’s what you back the senior players to do and that’s how it has gone for us throughout the tournament. When we have handled pressure well, we have won,” a disappointed Kings XI skipper Ravichandran Ashwin said after the game.

Young RCB fast bowler Saini gave away only three runs in his final over and picked up two wickets — the penultimate one of the innings — and Yadav made up for the nightmarish final over against Chennai Super Kings to help their team record their third win on the trot.

“Game was still in the balance. Two overs and 30 is still gettable on this ground. We did back ourselves with David (Miller) and (Nicholas) Pooran going really strong, but then it was a matter of one or two balls. The margin was really close but we couldn’t close out the game and that has been the downside of our entire season so far,” Ashwin said.

The Kings XI skipper bowled superbly to pick up 1/15 in his four over but RCB batsman AB de Villiers tore into the rest of the bowling to smash 82 off just 44 balls with seven sixes, including 64 in the last three overs with Marcus Stoinis.

“AB de Villiers is someone who makes a difference in the end overs. It was important that we contain him but our execution was all over the place. When you chase 200, you need one of the batsmen to score 70-80. We were 105-odd in 10 overs but then we lost the momentum between overs 10-14.

“I thought Nicholas Pooran played really well and got us back in the game. With 4 overs and 45-46 needed, from there on you needed someone to finish the game,” the Kings XI skipper felt.

The Chandigarh franchise now need to win all of their last three remaining games, staring with game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday, if they carry any aspirations of making the IPL-12 playoffs.

“We’ll have a couple of more players who will get fit by the time we get to Hyderabad. You can look at it as 3 out of 3 now but our focus is on winning one at a time. Two games are home games for us but it’s important to get the away game out of the way. SRH is a very important game for us. We have played some good cricket to win 5 wins and we are confident of turning it around,” an optimistic Ashwin said.​

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