Mumbai, April 13: Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul on Monday (April 12) said dropping sitters took the game deep, but he didn't stop believing in pulling off a result as his side beat Rajasthan Royals by 4-runs in IPL 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Put into bat, Punjab rode on skipper Rahul's 91 along with Deepak Hooda's 64 and Chris Gayle' 40 to set a total of 221/6 in their alloted 20 overs. For Royals, dedbutant Chetan Sakariya was the pick of the bowlers as he ended with figures of 3 for 31 in his four overs.
In response, Royals came very close pulling off a win thanks to their captain Sanju Samson's magnificent century, but could only get to 217/7 in 20 overs. Samson, who was dropped twice, almost took Royals home with a breathtaking 119 off 63 balls but was caught off the game's final ball with left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh defending 13 runs in the last over.
Punjab Kings captain Rahul said he didn't stop believing in the team and knew that a couple of wickets will give his side the win, but conceded dropped catches didn't help his side to finish the game early.
"The game went deep only because me included, we dropped some sitters. We bowled well until about 11-12 overs. We're used to this, and it''s not something new for us, but a win like this brings the team together.
"We batted really well and bowled well in patches. We weren't consistent with the lengths but the bowlers will learn. A lot of talented, skilful players, and it's important that we back them," said Rahul who scored 91 in his team''s 221 for 6 after being asked to bat.
Rahul praised Hooda who hit a 28-ball 64 to lay the foundation for Punjab King's big total, along with him and he also liked the fearless approach by his teammates.
"It was an amazing innings from Hooda, and that's the kind of fearless batting we want to see in the IPL.
"We have been tentative sometimes, and it's important for us to play fearlessly at times, so I am happy that the expectations are being understood and met. Gayle and Hooda were both good that way."
On Arshdeep who dismissed Samson with the final ball of the match, Rahul said, "I always go to Arshdeep for crucial overs and he enjoys the pressure.
"He loves being in the contest and I love throwing him the ball, and he trusts himself and trusts his skills, so that's always good to see."
Punjab Kings next play Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday (April 16).