It wasn’t the ideal start to the UAE leg of the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League for Punjab Kings, as they succumbed to a defeat in the final over against the Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday at the Dubai International Stadium. Kartik Tyagi delivered a brilliant 20th over for the Royals, as he managed to defend four runs to cause an almighty upset for Anil Kumble and co. 

“There was a clear message saying we need to finish this game in 19 overs, that was the approach. But credit to how Tyagi (Kartik) bowled that last over,” said Punjab Kings Head Coach Anil Kumble in the post match press conference. 

“We don’t want to get bogged down by this defeat. We still have five more games,” added the former Indian captain. Punjab Kings still have matters in their own hands, and can still qualify for the playoffs if they win their remaining group games. 

Positives despite defeat

Tuesday’s result was a tough pill to swallow for the Punjab Kings camp, as they ended on the losing side despite being on top for most parts of the contest. Nevertheless, there were plenty of positives to take from that game in terms of individual performances, and the same sentiment was echoed by Anil Kumble. 

“I think you need to take positives out of this because we still have five matches. The way we played, at one stage Rajasthan looked like getting 200, but we pulled it back in those final overs with the bowling of Shami and Arshdeep,” said Kumble.

“Harpreet Brar was also very good, even Porel (Ishan) to make his debut here and get a crucial wicket for us, he bowled really well. So there are plenty of positives,” he added. 

Anil Kumble also acknowledged the batting efforts at the top, as KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal notched up their fifth 100 plus run stand in the IPL as a pair, while Nicholas Pooran also found his feet again. 

“There are enough positives with the batting as well. The opening partnership has always done well for us, and Aiden (Markram) and Nicky Pooran too,” added Kumble.