A much-needed win for the Kings XI Punjab against Kolkata Knight Riders was provided through some exceptional bowling performance in death overs by Mohit Sharma along with Rahul Tewatia’s disciplined spell, playing his first match for the side. With just 50 runs needed off the last five overs, Mohit stepped up in the crunch situation bringing in all his experience and made sure that Knight Riders remain short of the required run rate per over. (Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
Mohit troubled the KKR batsmen with his back of the hand slower deliveries, the famous knuckleball, bowling in right lengths at crucial moments. Mohit and Sandeep, in the end, defended 29 of the 12 deliveries restricting Knight Riders to 153 for six with 14 runs short to keep Punjab’s hopes alive of qualifying for the playoffs.
After the match, Mohit Sharma said in a press conference, “It was a crucial win for the team and since we lost in the last match we were focused on executing our plans and following our process which was the key to our victory.”
Mohit also praised the youngster Rahul Tewatia who played his first match in the season for Kings XI, “For me, the turning point of the match was the spell by Rahul Tewatia as it was his first match and he created pressure on the batsmen giving just 18 runs in his four overs, taking two wickets. Sandeep Sharma also bowled very well in death overs.”
Mohit said that Chris Lynn’s wicket was important for them to make a comeback as it gave them a chance to comeback in the match. Mohit also believes that ‘pressure’ is an important aspect of any match as it improves a player’s performance.
“T20 is a game where that specific day’s performance matter so anyone can be the hero if it’s their day, there is no better team or underdog in T20, and that’s what happened today, we focused on our performance and will now continue to keep the momentum going in upcoming matches,” Mohit said regarding labels on the teams which are created before the match.
He also said that in the strategic timeout they discussed the possible ways to restrict Knight Riders’ runs as they know that the players can now spread outside the circle and with spinners bowling on right lengths it became easier for us to control the match.
Mohit talked about maintaining the pressure on the team in crunch situations saying, “I think T20 is not about only taking wickets but bowling as many dot balls as possible to make pressure on the opposition team”.
He also praised his team-mate Matt Henry saying, “Matt Henry is a really good bowler, I know him from 2014 when he played for Chennai Super Kings, and a good thing about these foreign players is they give you good vibes and confidence to perform at your level best in the match.”