Punjab Kings head coach Anil Kumble was understandably at loss of words as he tried to explain his team's yet another defeat after they seemed to have sealed the match. The Punjab Kings, this time, hit a new low after they failed to score eight runs in the last two overs despite having eight wickets in hand. Eventually, it was the Rajasthan Royals who emerged victorious by 2 runs at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
The result has made Punjab's qualification chances to the Playoff bleaker as they succumbed to their sixth defeat in nine matches. To be the masters of their own destiny, Kings will have to win each of their remaining five matches.
"It's sort of become a pattern for us especially when we get to Dubai, it seems," Kumble told reporters after the match.
"The approach was clear, we needed to finish it in 19 overs. That was the approach, to not let it go till the end. But unfortunately, when you leave it to the last couple of balls, it becomes a lottery. Credit to [Kartik] Tyagi for the way he bowled," he added.
We had to finish it in 19 overs, unfortunately that didn't happen: Kumble
Notably, Punjab had lost a similar match against Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2020 season of IPL in Abu Dhabi. In that fixture, they had failed to score 22 runs from 18 deliveries with nine wickets in hand. While they had made a mess out of the situation in the match against KKR last season, here they failed to even make a connection with the bat in Kartik Tyagi's superb final over.
"It was pretty clear he (Tyagi) was going to bowl wide outside off, and somehow our batters didn't take the right options," he said.
"We need to discuss this and sort it out. We have five more games to go, we don't want to get bogged down by this defeat but it's certainly a bitter pill to swallow," he added.
"All it needed was a bit of hitting. Even if someone got out first ball, the next batter had five balls to get the runs. When it goes to the last couple of balls, it becomes hard. The messaging was clear. We had to finish it in 19 overs, unfortunately that didn't happen today," he said in the latter part of the press conference also saying that the bowlers had done their job well and it was the batters who failed them particularly after getting to a strong position.