KL Rahul, the Punjab Kings captain, rued his side's top-order performance as they came up short in the second match against Chennai Super Kings to register their first defeat in IPL 2021.
"If any team loses five wickets in the first seven or eight overs, it's always going to be catch up. They bowled well, we played some bad shots, that's how the game goes," Rahul said after the match.
Deepak Chahar's 4 for 13 left Punjab reeling at four for 19 in the Powerplay. The middle-order, spearheaded by Shahrukh Khan's 31-ball 46, then pushed the Punjab side to 106 for 8. CSK chased down the total with six wickets to spare. "Deepak with his knuckle balls got a couple of wickets, getting myself run-out doesn't help the team. Just the way we started, the pitch was still okay, it wasn't a 100-110 wicket, maybe 150-160 sort of a wicket."
Punjab Kings's Australian pace duo of Jhye Richardson (0 for 21) and Riley Meredith (0 for 21) had a decent outing against CSK after a disappointing game against the Rajasthan Royals. These two combined went for 104 runs in eight overs against Rajasthan. Rahul empathised with the pacers. "The first game didn't go too well for those two (Richardson and Meredith), it was their first game and I am sure they were a bit nervous. That was the chat after the game as well, that's how IPL goes. It can be tough and cruel.
"Their plans were clear, they did execute it pretty well. It was good to see that they came back stronger this game and they gave us crucial breakthroughs."
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