Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) won their third consecutive match on Tuesday when they beat Delhi Capitals by five wickets. While their first match of this run ended in an eight-wicket win against Royal Challengers Bangalore, they got over the line only on the last ball.
Their previous win came after an extraordinary two Super Overs against the Mumbai Indians and KXIP captain KL Rahul said that it is nice to not have a close finish for once.
“Nice to finish in the 19th over for once,” he said in the post-match presentation ceremony. Needing to chase down 165, KXIP had to depend upon their middle order to take them over the line after a rare lapse from Rahul and his opening partner Mayank Agarwal. He said that the team will be looking to have one of the top order batsman stay on till the end in the coming matches.
“Especially when you play with six batters and one all-rounder it is important that a set batter, one of the top four, goes on and finishes the game. That something that we need to make sure happens going forward,” he said.
While DC scored 164/5, 106 of their runs were scored by opener Shikhar Dhawan with the rest being limited to scoring just 54 runs off 59 balls by KXIP’s bowling lineup led by Mohammed Shami, who took two wickets. Rahul said that Shami is carrying forward the confidence he took from the previous game against Mumbai Indians in which he stopped them from scoring six runs in the first Super Over, thus forcing another tie-breaker.
“Shami was coming in after some confidence from the last game, the way he bowled in that Super Over,” said Rahul. “As I said, he is one of the senior players and is getting better with ever game. Arshdeep [Singh] bowled two overs in the powerplay and then came back for one over at the death and he nailed six yorkers. Can’t be easy for a fast bowler. Shows how hard guys have worked.”
The win means that KXIP, who lost five consecutive matches after their win in their second match of the season against RCB, have now beaten the top two sides in their last two matches.
“That feels really good. The talk before the last couple of games was to beat two teams were at the top of the points table and bring a lot of confidence into the team,” said Rahul.