Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul minced no words in criticising his batters stating they played ‘stupid cricket’ against Punjab Kings on Friday despite winning by 20 runs at the MCA Stadium in Pune. LSG moved to third with 12 points in the table courtesy of the win.
Sent into bat first, LSG were well-placed at 98/1 in the 13th over before losing a flurry of wickets to see them 111/6 in the 16th over. After Quinton de Kock was dismissed by Sandeep Sharma, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni and Marcus Stoinis followed suit and it looked like getting 150 would be tough.
But some late hitting from Jason Holder, Mohsin Khan and Dushmantha Chameera took LSG to 153/8 before their bowlers rallied to restrict Punjab to 133 for 8. “I was disappointed and fuming at the end of the first innings. Stupid cricket with the bat,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation.
“We need to get better with the bat. Half-time, when Quinny and Deepak were batting. They paced it really really well to get to 60 in 9 overs on a tricky wicket. Had we batted smartly, we could have gotten to 180-190,” added KL Rahul.
The India vice-captain wanted his players to read the game smartly and rued they could have done better had the batters not played too many shots. “I think we just need to be smarter in reading the game. We have been good on the field and good with the ball. Just need to keep repeating the good things,” he said.
After an underwhelming show with the bat, LSG bowlers put up a spirited display as pacer Chameera (2/17) and Pandya (2/11) grabbed two wickets each. In fact, it was Krunal’s just 11 runs from his four overs that halted the PBKS run flow in the middle overs.
“The way we responded with the ball was phenomenal. Krunal has been brilliant throughout the tournament. This season he has really worked on his bowling. Bowling economically is important but he has been giving us two-three wickets in the middle overs,” Rahul added.
Meanwhile, a disappointed Punjab Kings skipper Mayank Agarwal rued the dismal batting effort.
“I think we just kept losing wickets. We had batsmen who were set and we kept getting out. So many soft dismissals for us. It is disappointing and we have to face the truth. We didn't bat well enough and we were below par with the bat,” said Mayank, who scored 25.
With PTI Inputs