Furthering their cause to book a place in the Playoffs, Kings XI Punjab outplayed Rajasthan Royals in the VIVO Indian Premier League match on Sunday to take their wins tally to six. Highlighted by Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s bowling in the first innings and the middle order supporting Lokesh Rahul in the second, KXIP got their first win at Indore for the season.
In the post-match press conference, Marcus Stoinis touched on certain facets of KXIP’s machinery. The main issue for the side has been the lack of runs and stability in the middle order, but the match against RR remedied that with Karun Nair and Marcus Stoinis getting some time in the middle after the early departure of Chris Gayle.
“The strategy was to start as we do with the two big guns up front and hopefully get off to a good start. The main chat was that if we get a chance in the middle order, then we need to step up and win the game,” revealed Stoinis, whose unbeaten cameo of 23(16) helped KXIP’s cause.
“I wanted to take a few balls to judge the conditions when I first got out there, and KL said the same thing to me. We just said to ourselves that we need to remain calm, and we will win,” he said when talking about the 68-run partnership off just 35 balls between him and Rahul that took KXIP over the line.
Speaking of Rahul, Stoinis was all full of praises when asked about his comrade’s unbeaten knock to help win the match.
“I think this was his best innings," hailed the Aussie. "That’s what the best players do – they win the game, and that’s what he did today. He understood the situation and the wicket and batted accordingly. That to me was his smartest innings so far.”
Rahul himself was chuffed with the support that the middle order batsmen provided him till the very end.
“I knew if I stayed till the end I can win the game. I just needed someone to stay with me. Karun did that. Stoinis did that and ran well too. Very happy to see the batting group is helping,” he pointed out.
With Kings XI Punjab playing their next match against Rajasthan Royals once again, this all-round performance by the team will hold them in good stead when they play in Jaipur.