Puno, April 30: Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul praised their bowling attack, saying the 20-run win over Punjab Kings at MCA Stadium on Friday was down to the bowlers.
On a sticky pitch where neither batsman from either side could register a fifty, it was the Luckn’w bowlers who caused a Punjab mid-order wobble to defend 153. Mohsin Khan (3/24), Dushmantha Chameera (2 /17) and Krunal Pandya (11/2) have been the main architects of Lucknow sealing a victory that has taken them to third place in the points table.
“I was furious after the first few innings because it was stupid cricket with the bat, experienced guys on the team. It happens but we talk about it in the timeout that it’s a tricky pitch but 160 is something we can put on the board. But a couple of bad shots and the run didn’t help. I wasn’t happy with that middle phase, but this game has been completely about the bowlers,” Rahul said after the match.
Chameera and Mohsin also hit some late swings with the bat to allow Lucknow to pass the 150 mark after being pushed to bat first.
“The way they scored those crucial 25-30 runs at the back and then the way they bowled through the 20 overs was brilliant. They executed their plans to perfection and held their nerve. They were fearless with the bat and the ball, So very happy with the way we played as a team, but I think the hitting unit needs to come back and improve.” When asked about his words to the team in the mid-innings phase, Rahul revealed: “We felt like we did well getting to 60 in nine overs and we did very well, after that time out they got on going and they went to the limits. It was a tricky pitch and we knew it wasn’t a 180-190 wicket.” “If one of the top 3 had gone on and gotten 70 or 80 we probably would have gotten 10 or 15 extra runs but that didn’t happen and we lost four or five wickets in the space of three or four overs and that set us back a bit. But the way we responded with the ball was phenomenal.” Rahul also had a few words of thanks in store for Krunal, who was miserly on his 2/11 spell, firing Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Jitesh Sharma while maintaining an economy rate of just 2.8. “He’s been brilliant throughout the tournament and he’s someone who… has always been a cheap bowler every other IPL season, but I think this season he’s really worked on his bowling and is giving us those crucial wickets in the medium, which is what the teams need”. .” “You need to take wickets in the middle to be able to pressure hitters. Yes, bowling financially is also important, but if we have two or three wickets in the middle, that really puts pressure on the opposition and that’s what they’ve been doing brilliantly.” Supporting Krunal from the other end was Bishnoi, who castled Shikhar Dhawan but managed 41 runs from his four overs.”Bishnoi keeps getting those crucial wickets again and is an aggressive bowler. We don’t care if he bowls or tries to find a wicket and gets sixes. That’s fine, that’s fine for us.” Rahul signed off by praising his attacking pace for a good show in the last few games. “The spinners have been brilliant, but also the quick shooters have been exceptional in the last two or three games. The way they’ve pitched to death, the way they’ve started in the Powerplay has been very, very good and that’s going to give us a lot of confidence as a team.”