KL Rahul on LSG’s defeat: ‘A poor performance overall’

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Kolkata Knight Riders crushed Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday at the Ekana Stadium after posting 235. Speaking after the heavy defeat, LSG’s captain KL Rahul tagged it a “poor performance overall” from his side, but particularly pinpointed the bowling as having cost LSG on the night.

It was the first time this IPL season that a side had scored 200 or more batting first in seven matches in Lucknow. Rahul felt LSG lost their way while trying to go hard to haul in the target, saying his bowlers allowed KKR to score “20 or 30 runs above par”.

“When you’re chasing a big total, you try to go hard and you end up losing wickets. So just a poor performance overall,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation.

Sunil Narine and Phil Salt got KKR off to another explosive start, helping their side post 70 in the powerplay, the sixth time in 11 games this season that KKR managed those many or more. Rahul said that approach by KKR’s openers “put a lot of pressure” on his “young bowlers”.

“We’ve seen how they have batted. They put a lot of pressure on the opposition, and our young bowlers just couldn’t handle that kind of pressure,” he said. “He [Narine] hit some really, really good shots, and that’s how the IPL is: you’ll come up against some really good players, and that’s when your character is tested. And I think we weren’t up to the mark today.

“Once we come here [to Lucknow], it’s about execution, and we went wrong on that part. Bowlers tried their best. But the sooner you learn, the better it is for our team. We’ve made a couple of mistakes when we’ve come up against batters like Sunil or anyone who is powerful, and is striking over 200 or 250. Someone with that kind of intimidation has put a bit of pressure on our bowlers.”

In reply, LSG were 70 for 1 in the eighth over of the chase, with both Rahul and Marcus Stoinis set. However, the required run rate had by then climbed above 13 runs an over, and then an LSG slide began. They lost 9 for 67 in less than nine overs, and were bowled out for 137 with almost four overs to spare. Rahul admitted there was nothing wrong with the pitch, but said scoreboard pressure probably derailed LSG.

“The wicket was really good. It felt like a pretty true wicket,” he said. “There was a bit of bounce if you bowled hard lengths and back of a length. But nothing out of the ordinary; or it didn’t seemed like a pitch that was bad.

“I think 235 was probably 20 or 30 runs above par. Our batting performance was really poor. But when you’re chasing such a big score under pressure, it’s always hard.”

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