Kolkata Knight Riders stayed alive in the contest for the fourth spot playoff by beating Kings XI Punjab. (Image credit: Twitter)
Kings XI Punjab had stumbled to 111/4 in the 14th over in their clash against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mohali. Dinesh Karthik’s side had applied the pressure and was looking good to restrict Kings XI Punjab to a below par score. However, Nicholas Pooran blasted 48 and Sam Curran hammered 55 off 24 balls to boost Kings XI Punjab to 183/6. In 6.3 overs, Kings XI Punjab had blasted 72 runs and this angered Karthik who gave an earful to the Kolkata Knight Riders side during the innings break. The outburst seemed to have helped as Kolkata Knight Riders stormed to a seven-wicket win thanks to Shubman Gill’s unbeaten 69.
Speaking after the match, Karthik explained the rationale behind the outburst. “"It's been a hard few days. I wasn't too happy with the bowlers and what the fielders were doing, so I thought I should let the boys know what I felt at that time. It is rare, not many people have seen me angry. If I feel I need to be angry to get the best out of the boys, then maybe,” Karthik said.
On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin admitted that the lack of a good start in the powerplay has hurt Kings XI Punjab yet again in the Indian Premier League. Ashwin highlighted that in the previous edition, the bowling powerplay was the team’s main weakness and in 2019, the batting powerplay has been an issue, despite Chris Gayle and KL Rahul scoring over 450 runs at a strike-rate of close to 150.
“We have to address the areas that we are lagging. One of such area is the powerplay both with the ball and the bat. Last year, we had a great batting powerplay with Chris (Gayle) and KL (Rahul) but this year we couldn't get off to great starts, obviously because the pressure was on them and they had to like, do a job. We have to address this going into the next year because we have lost most games on powerplay battles. It has been a massive problem,” Ashwin said.
Kings XI Punjab only have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the playoffs while Kolkata Knight Riders can seal the fourth and final spot if they beat Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad lose to Royal Challengers Bangalore.