Oh KXIP! You almost messed up another match didn’t you? Virat Kohli affords a smile, so does KL Rahul, but the latter’s looks more nervy. They needed seven to win off 12 balls with two set batsmen and somehow managed to bring the equation down to ‘1 run needed off the final ball.’ Phew! They cleared the last hurdle by a few inches. This is just their second win of the season and both have come against RCB. More importantly, KL Rahul’s men are still alive in the tournament. It was supposed to be a tricky chase on this slow track, but the two Karnataka batsmen at the top of the order set the perfect foundation with yet another brisk start. Gayle, the Universe Boss, walked in at three and struggled to get going initially. But, he needed just one six to get going. The 16th and 17 over of the chase went for 20 and 15 runs respectively. That should have sealed the game for Punjab, but KXIP took it the KXIP way and ensured that there was a dramatic end…

Virat Kohli | Losing captain: It was quite surprising, because it went down to the wire. A bit of pressure can confuse you, it was a good performance by Kings XI in the end. We had a chat, it (AB batting at no. 6) was a message about the left-hand, right-hand combination. Sometimes these decisions you take, don’t come off. But I think 170 was a decent score. That’s the idea, get your eye in and start hitting. But we were not able to put them under pressure. We take a lot of pride as a bowling side, but tonight was one of those nights, as it didn’t come off. A few positives from the game. There was no conversation between Yuzi (Chahal) and me to be honest. Things became interesting to be honest. They kind of let us come back in the game, because I think it should have ended by the 18th over.

KL Rahul | Winning captain and Man of the Match: I have no idea, it’s (heart beat) the highest it can be. I don’t even have words. We knew we had to scrape and get over the line. We are a far better side than where we are in the points table. It just got too close for comfort, happy that we crossed the line. As a group, we have been disappointing. It can get frustrating. Our skills were good, but we didn’t capitalize on the big moments. It becomes a habit – winning and not winning. There are ups and downs and this has been the roller-coaster. We wanted this win to get some confidence in the group. It’s my first time as captain, for me it’s always about winning. The personal performances haven’t been on mind too much. He’s (Gayle) not been feeling well in the last couple of weeks. But, he is hungry even at 41. He always wanted to play from the first day. He was training hard, he wanted be out on the park. It was a tough call to make and not make him play. It’s important to keep the lion hungry. Wherever he bats, he’s dangerous. He’s taken it up as a challenge as well. He’ll still be intimidating.

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