After stumbling to a nine-wicket loss against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul on Sunday said it does hurt to not qualify for the playoffs, but also added that there is a lot to be proud of for the side. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis played knocks of 62 and 48 respectively as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by nine wickets here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

With this loss, KXIP has been knocked out of the playoff race. KL Rahul-led side has to settle with 12 points from 14 matches, while CSK also has the same number of points from as many matches. “Every youngster has been putting in a lot of work, they have been working with the coaches, youngsters have played games against high-quality opposition, they have handled the pressure really well, we will keep an eye on the boys and we will try to work for them, there is a lot for them to grow,” said Rahul during the post-match press conference.

“It does hurt, we did really well to give us a chance to qualify for the playoffs, there is a lot for us to be proud of this season, it would have been great if we had got one more victory to qualify for the playoffs, this will hurt for a little while, we need to take the learnings and come back stronger next season,” he added. Earlier, Deepak Hooda played an unbeaten knock of 62 runs as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) posted a total of 153/6 in the allotted twenty overs.

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Deepak Hooda managed to hit some big shots in the final overs, and as a result, KXIP managed to post a total of more than the 150-run mark. For CSK, Lungi Ngidi scalped three wickets. “It was a good wicket, we could not really get partnerships going, with us getting 50 in the first six overs, we should have capitalized on that, maybe 180-190 would have been a good score, Deepak gave us a fighting chance in the match. Don’t think the batting order went wrong, as batters we all knew that we had to post a big score on the board, it was an important game, we did not soak up the pressure well, a couple of partnerships would have helped us, we needed one from the top four to get a 70-80, unfortunately, it could not happen,” said Rahul.

“We needed to win this game, we felt we also needed to win this game with a decent margin that is why we went with a batting heavy side. Deepak batted really well, he gave us an opportunity to defend the score, he gave us hope, I am really happy that guys who are working very hard are seeing success,” he added. (ANI)

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