After a spirited performance with the bat, and some good discipline in the field and with the ball, Kings XI Punjab have made it two wins in two at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. While Chris Gayle set the stage ablaze with his hard hitting early on, the bowlers hunted as a pack to close of the match and grab a win against Chennai Super Kings in the VIVO Indian Premier League on Sunday.
Gayle’s debut for KXIP was one to remember, as he got 63 off just 33 balls in a Man of the Match winning effort. “The fans wanted to see some entertainment, and that’s what the team is all about, and most importantly, we got the win,” the Jamaican summed up.
And entertain is exactly what he did, with 7 fours and 4 sixes in his innings. “Once you have momentum, you want to try and keep the bowler under pressure. And batting with (Lokesh) Rahul as well is good because he takes the pressure off,” Gayle explained.
It was Ravichandran Ashwin’s aggression and brand of captaincy that held KXIP in good stead through the game. The way he marshalled his troops was brilliant to see, especially when the opposition was in the mood of tasting blood.
“One of the things we had spoken about as a bowling group was to trust each other’s abilities. Batsmen hitting those shots is bound to happen at times. CSK has put away two teams in the last over, and they had the confidence to repeat it, but maybe it was time we got one on them,” said the KXIP skipper in the post-match presentation ceremony.
On the decision of playing the dynamic Chris Gayle last night, he explained, “For me it is all about picking what I feel is good against a particular opposition. Today I felt it was the right time to unleash Gayle, and he went out there and expressed himself.”
Besides Gayle, the bowlers put up a match-winning performance too, picking up wickets at crucial junctures, and holding their nerve when a certain MS Dhoni was going all guns blazing.
“It was very nervy. Mahi put on a show for the crowd. Any slight miss of our length, and he was putting us over the ropes,” said Andrew Tye, the pacer from Down Under. “You just have to try and figure out where you can get a single or a dot at that stage of the game, so we tried that the best we could to execute it.
“We only have one game left here, and to play in front of a packed crowd was awesome. They were electrifying,” he added.
Kings XI Punjab play their next game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on 19th April at Mohali – their last match at the venue for this season.