Defeated skipper Adam Gilchrist was left to lament “a poor all-round performance” after a lack of impact with the bat from their captain and a couple of dropped catches saw the Kings XI Punjab fall to a seven-wicket defeat to the Pune Warriors in their Indian Premier League opener in Mumbai on Sunday.
Gilchrist was dismissed for a single by Alfonso Thomas in the opening over of the match, which sparked a collapse that left the Mohali-bred franchise reeling at 45 for six.
A fighting half-century from Ryan McLaren at least pushed them to a three-figure total, but a 113-run target was always going to be an easy pursuit for the star-laden Pune unit.
In reply, Jesse Ryder laid the perfect platform for the mandatory chase with a quickfire knock of 31. Robin Uthappa and Yuvraj Singh, each offered a reprieve in the field on the back of some clumsy fielding from Gilchrist’s team, ultimately sealed the deal with 22 not out and 21 not out respectively.
“It was a poor all-round performance. It started with me in the first over and that set the tone for the innings,” rued Gilchrist.
“A couple of catches could have been taken and that would have left them in a bit of trouble. We just weren’t good enough. McLaren, though, was outstanding.
The Kings XI Punjab’s next fixture is a tough encounter against defending champions Chennai on Wednesday.
“We felt comfortable enough coming in to this game, but we need to take little steps towards improving. We will go back and work on it, it’s a long tournament and the only way is up,” he added.
Former Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh, who switched franchises during the IPL off-season, was pleased to get his new venture off to a winning start.
“The first two years that I captained Kings XI Punjab, I took a lot of pressure on myself and was getting distracted a lot in the field. This time I just thought I’ll be calm and relaxed and that worked for me,” he concluded. Cricket365