Kings XI Punjab skipper, R Ashwin, has been a leading bowler for the team this IPL season. Before claiming two wickets against Rajasthan Royals during the Kings XI Punjab’s 12- run win, Ashwin played a cameo of 17 runs, which also included two sixes off the last two balls of the match. KXIP batsman, David Miller, was all praise for his skipper after the match.
“Ashwin has led from the front for the team. He came to bat when the team needed quick runs and the way he batted in the end, lent us the momentum. He has been bowling well. He has been a huge asset for the team as a bowler and his form means good for the team,” shared Miller during the post-match press conference.
Tuesday’s win against Rajasthan Royals was the fifth win for Kings XI Punjab this season The team moved to the fourth spot with ten points in the points table.
After the fall of Chris Gayle and Mayank Aggarwal, the pair of David Miller and K L Rahul was associated with a 85-run stand for the third wicket. Miller played a knock of 40 runs off 28 balls and departed in the last over, before Ashwin’s cameo propelled the hosts to a total of 182 for 6.
“I guess we had the time to build the partnership. But as you know, in the T20 format, you don’t need much time. So we needed to be busy and needed to use the big boundary to hit singles and doubles in order to keep the strike rate up. We waited till the 13-14th over and decided to go after bowling. With eight wickets in hand, our intention was to target 1-2 balls with risk and the plan was to build the partnership. We were bit in pressure before the last three overs but then Ashwin came and hit 15 runs off the last over, which gave us the momentum,” added Miller.
With Rajasthan Royals placed at 122 for 2 at the end of 15 overs and needing 61 runs from 30 balls, the visitors had a chance to score a win. But the hosts claimed five more wickets and gave only 48 runs in the last five overs to win the match. Kings XI Punjab suffered a setback before the match when Moises Henriques, who was set to make his debut, and Afghanistan spinner, Mujeeb ur Rehman, suffered injuries during practice.
Miller sounded optimistic of Henriques recovery “I don’t know how we pulled it back. The guys bowled well and used the big side of the ground to their advantage. Both the Ashwins bowled well and made sure that Rajasthan needed 50 runs off the last 3 overs, which is always a tough task. The fielding was great and we took our catches,” concluded Miller.