Kings XI Punjab head coach Mike Hesson believes his team did well to take the contest against Delhi Capitals deep despite the dew factor and smart, “risk-free” batting from Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer.
Reflecting on Kings XI’s performance after its five-wicket defeat at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Hesson said, “I think  was a good score batting first, when the ball’s just holding a little bit on the wicket. I think the fact that we looked to attack early on - because we knew it was going to get harder as the ball got older - and to finish with a little bit of flourish that we did…163 on that surface was a decent score.
"Obviously, dew was always going to be the main factor and that was considered at the toss by both sides. We certainly didn’t quite get the hold in the wicket that we were hoping for. And I thought the way Shikhar and Shreyas Iyer batted [was good]. They played low-risk cricket, and they played well.”
Hesson felt the dew played into the hands of Capitals’ batsmen in the chase. “Both sides at the toss knew dew was going to be a factor. It not only allowed the ball to skid on a little bit but meant the ball didn’t grip; it just required some quality batting and that’s what Delhi did,” he said.
Kings XI’s total could have been bigger had Chris Gayle continued his pillaging act in the second half of the innings. As it turned out, he was dismissed in the 13th over and the side considerably slowed down thereafter.
Hesson said, “I think Chris [Gayle] is very unique in terms of the power that he has got. Without a lot of pace in the wicket to get the power that he did – he was the one guy that could have taken the game away from the opposition.
"Obviously, we also kept losing wickets which made it difficult to push on. That’s why I thought at the end, the last partnership between Ashwin and Harpreet Brar was very important for us. Mandeep Singh did a decent job as well for us in terms of getting us to a period where we could potentially have a death. Chris got us to a position where anything is possible. But in the end, 163 was a decent score in those conditions."
Summing up his team’s performance in the Indian Premier League so far, Hesson said, “We have played some good cricket. Probably one game we were disappointed [with] the way we played – that was against [Royal Challengers Bangalore] where we were below our own standards. But outside that, we’ve been in every game. We played pretty well. I think we’re sitting fourth.
"The destiny is in our own hands. When you come to the back end of the tournament, that’s what you want. We know that if we play well, we give ourselves a good chance of winning. We gave ourselves a decent chance tonight. I’m pretty proud of the way we hung in there with the conditions; it was a good effort.”
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