Bengaluru, October 19: KL Rahul was adjudged man of the match for steering the Kings XI Punjab batting with a fluent 51-ball 77 in their Super Over win over Mumbai Indians on Sunday (October 18). Rahul was also so calm as captain keeping the team relaxed even as the protagonists went through the sheer drama of two Super Overs in a match, a first-time occurrence in the IPL.
But as is his wont, Rahul did not take the credit for himself but stressed on the role played by two veteran stars in the Kings XI Punjab line-up - Mohammed Shami and Chris Gayle.
Shami was excellent with yorkers in the first Super Over and defended five runs. "You can never prepare for Super Overs. No team does. So, you have to trust your bowler's gut. You trust your bowler, and let them believe in their instinct and gut. Shami was very clear as he wanted to go for six yorkers. He has been phenomenal, and keeps getting better every game. It is important that senior players win the games for the team," said Rahul in the post-match presentation.
Gayle too made an impact in the match. He began with a 21-ball 24 in the regular innings, and then returned to bat in the second Super over. Chasing 12 to win, Gayle smashed Trent Boult for a six in the very first ball to bring the equation down to 6 runs off 5 balls, and eventually they managed to achieve it without much ado.
"After keeping for 20 overs, I knew the first six overs were crucial. The wicket was slightly slower so it was important for us to get runs in the Power Play. I knew Chris and Pooran... I trust them to take down spinners. So, Chris coming in has made my job easier as a batsman," said Rahul.
Rahul was glad to take two points from the match even though they had to go through the extraordinary sequence of two Super Overs.
"It is not the first time (Playing in Super Over). But we don't want to make a habit out of it. We will take two points. It doesn't always happen the way you plan so you don't really know how to stay balanced. I was just hoping we get over the line because the boys have been working really hard. In the games that we have lost, even then we have played well and we were just not able to get over the line.
"We still want to take it one game at a time. This win is sweet after the kind of matches we have lost but the talk in the dressing room is to focus on the process. We know we need to win everything from here, so, we can't forget the processes that led to a win."