Punjab Kings' (PBKS) stand-in captain Mayank Agarwal said the lack of runs in the middle-overs cost his side in its seven-wicket loss to Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Mayank, who took charge in the absence of an injured KL Rahul, smashed an unbeaten 99 to lead a shaky Punjab to 166 for 6. The Capitals' chase was then led by blistering starts from openers Shikhar Dhawan (68 n.o.) and Prithvi Shaw (39). DC sealed the win in 17.4 overs. Agarwal added that Punjab was short on runs against a strong Delhi side on a batting-friendly wicket.
"Would've liked two points but I guess we were about 10 runs short on that wicket. And the kind of powerplay they (Delhi) had, we really had to scrap and fight. One batsman has to bat through, that was my plan. Unfortunately we didn't get too many in the middle overs, even though we finished well. Would have loved two points more than anything else," Mayank said.
The 30-year-old, who was on his IPL captaincy debut, confirmed that Rahul will undergo surgery after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis. "KL Rahul is going for a surgery and hopefully he should be back. Managing the ups and downs is what captaincy's all about. We need to keep at it and click as a team," he added.
Pant lauds openers Dhawan and Shaw
Speaking after the win that saw his side move to the top of the points table, Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant said: "I think Shikhy (Dhawan) bhai and Prithvi (Shaw) gave us a very good start, that's why the innings looked much better. The first innings it was really gripping. The way they started was commendable. It feels so good when you have a great start each and every match with a mixture of youth and experience. Most things are sorted out but we need to try out a few options for the Kolkata matches. We are trying to make an environment where everyone feels good."
Delhi will now enjoy a five-day break before returning to take on Kolkata Knight Riders. Meanwhile, the sixth-placed Punjab Kings will meet Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday.