Mumbai Indians, in the end, trumped Kings XI Punjab by just three runs on Wednesday despite a heroic chase led by KL Rahul in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 game at the Wankhede Stadium.
It was a match befitting the do-or-die clash, which in the end left the Kings XI Punjab players’ heartbroken. Punjab’s pacer Andrew Tye was brilliant with the ball, returning with figures of four for 16, but in a losing cause. IPL’s leading wicket-taker with 24 scalps, Tye, attributed the loss to the brilliant fielding of the Mumbai Indians, who put their bodies on the line in the field and pulled off some tough catches.
The Western Australia player also blasted his batsmen for not being able to provide adequate support to KL Rahul, who again played a lone hand with a 60-ball 94.
“It’s bitterly disappointing that we did not win against Mumbai tonight. We had the firepower in our team to chase it down and we could not do it. Doesn’t really matter if I take 4 for 16 or someone else takes 4/16. It means obviously someone else has let you down and it’s not a whole team effort. That is something that we’ve struggled for a lot this IPL. We haven’t had enough boys standing up other than KL with the bat or myself and Mujeeb (Ur Rehman) with the ball. So, fair credit to Mumbai. I personally feel they won the game with their fielding. In a close match like that, they made a couple of really good saves on the boundary… chased a couple of balls down and, you know, that makes a difference when you lose the match by about five runs,” said Tye.
It has been a story of two halves for Punjab. They were brilliant in the first half, also leading the points table at one point of time but then lost the momentum after the mid-tournament break.
But, Tye refused to acknowledge that the break upset their rhythm. “I don’t think so,” he said. “Sure, you can look at it and say we lost momentum after that break but at the same time we didn’t have anyone else stand up. You know, in the first few games we have KL, Chris Gayle and Karun Nair who’d scored half-centuries or a century. But if you look at it since the break, KL is the only batsmen who’s gone past fifty. As good as our bowling attack is....we haven’t been putting up complete performance as a team with both bat and the ball and that sums up why we probably haven’t won games lately.”