The teams Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians have had a history of close encounters. From the double Super Over game that PBKS won to MI eking out a victory at Wankhede while chasing down a 198-run target, the games have swung both ways. Their first encounter in the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 can also be added to the list of thrilling clashes these teams have had.
The Punjab Kings won the game by 12 runs, riding on half-centuries from openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan, and a triple-wicket last over from Odean Smith.
Post the game, Smith had a small chat with the media, where he spoke about bowling the last over and how it went dramatically different from the previous game, despite having to defend the same 13 runs off the last three deliveries.
On facing a familiar situation
Smith elaborated on how he felt coming face-to-face with a situation that had not ended well for him previously. “I was thinking it was such a coincidence that within four games I found myself in the same situation. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I just went out there and backed my best balls and it came through for us,” he said.
He further explained how he planned Jaydev Unadkat’s wicket in the last over. “Most of the guys hit the ball straight or leg side. I talked to Shikhar and he said this guy doesn't cut the ball or scoop, or anything. I thought it would be harder for him to get me straight down the ground or through the leg side if I was going across him," a beaming Smith said.
On what went right
Mayank Agarwal set the tone for the night with a stellar 52 (32) at the beginning of the game. He opened up about what went right for the team and how the game was never on one team’s side throughout the evening.
“It was a good night, very very happy to contribute to the team's win but the crucial thing for us was the two points. I can't really say that it was just the runs on the board. I thought this game had a lot of ups and downs, there were a lot of crucial moments and more often than not we were nailing those crucial moments and winning those crucial moments,” the captain said, emphasizing on creating the turning points to win the game.
“Somehow or the other, when the game was 50/50, those moments came towards us. So it wasn't just the batting,” Agarwal said, appreciating the boys for their effort on pulling off a great win.
On sticking to the season’s agenda
“At the start of the tournament, we said that's the brand of cricket we want to play. We want to play aggressive, hard cricket, and with that we need to show good intent. I think this time around we were a lot smarter with the bat as well. So we showed great intent but we were a lot smarter against their best bowlers so that we could keep wickets in hand and use the death as well,” the winning captain said.
He also spoke of changing the strategy mid-game in order to tackle Tilak Varma and Dewald Brevis. “Obviously when Tilak and Brevis were going the way they were going, we had to change our strategy and get into the main bowlers to try to get a wicket and luckily that happened through a runout. We don't rely on just Rabada, yes he leads the attack for us but we have two other guys also to come and do that,” Agarwal said.
“It's nice and very happy to have three wins. I think we're playing good cricket overall and if we get 5-10% better every game, I think we'll go on to do special things,” a happy captain beamed.
The Punjab Kings are now at the third position with six points on the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 points table with an NRR of +0.239. The team will next face Sunrisers Hyderabad at the DY Patil Stadium on Friday, April 17.