Punjab Kings’ skipper Mayank Agarwal admitted that his side couldn’t follow their bowling plans in the middle overs phase when defending 189 against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Jonny Bairstow made his chance count of opening the batting again with a 40-ball 56, his highest score of the tournament while Jitesh Sharma justified his promotion ahead of Liam Livingstone with an unbeaten 18-ball 38 as Punjab made 189/5 in 20 overs. But it wasn’t sufficient for them to avoid a six-wicket loss, which may affect their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
“I thought we got a very good score and were really happy about it. In the middle overs we didn’t stick to our bowling plans and didn’t execute them as well we would have liked to. We have to make the best use of our resources. I thought Jonny came out and batted exceptionally,” said Agarwal after the match.
In the middle overs phase with the ball, Rajasthan picked three wickets for 74 runs. But Punjab were unable to keep Rajasthan quiet in middle overs, taking two wickets, including of Yashasvi Jaiswal but conceded 76 runs. “They didn’t lose wickets, kept coming hard at us and kept scoring boundaries. We couldn’t really hold them up in between, which became really tough for us as going through and through for 20 overs, they had the momentum on their side.”
Agarwal signed off by praising Arshdeep for his efforts of 2/29, including a three-run 19th over, where he was effective with his yorkers and took out Devdutt Padikkal with a full toss. “Arshdeep has been nothing short of brilliant. Every time he has been in tricky situation, he puts his hand up when the team needs it and executes it. He’s been exception and has been a leader in the team and it has been fantastic for us that he bowls the way he is doing.”