'The batting was easy in second half than first half.'
Kings XI Punjab seamer Ankit Rajpoot says the plan was to bowl a tight line and not give any room to the dangerous opening duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow in their IPL match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mohali on Monday.
Kings XI Punjab registered a six-wicket win over Sunrisers in a thrilling finish after they had restricted Sunrisers to a modest total of 150 for four.
For Sunrisers, opener Warner remained unbeaten on 70 off 62 balls, even as the team's medium pacer Sandeep Sharma said the early moisture and heavy dew later on did not help their cause.
Chasing, K L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal struck fluent half-centuries to guide KXIP to an easy win, their fourth from six matches and third in a row at home.
Even though Rajpoot remained wicket-less, giving away 21 runs in the four overs he bowled, his tight line helped KXIP restrict the run flow.
About Warner, he said, "The plan was to block his runs by bowling a tight line. I did not give him opportunity to play to his strength."
Rajpoot, who was playing only his second game this season, said the wicket was a bit helpful with some swing.
"As my ball swings, I was given the responsibility to exploit the conditions. In other matches, we had flat or slow-turner wicket, so it was not that helpful. Here the wicket was green and I was given opportunity," Rajpoot said.
Playing in only his second match, Rajpoot said that he was not fitting in the team combination earlier.
"The combination was not there. However, in this match the combination worked as we played Mujeeb and an Indian bowler had to fit in, therefore, I played. But there was no pressure as I was ready to play every match, I had the support of my captain and coaches," he said.
'From one game alone an opinion cannot be formed'
Sunrisers Hyderabad medium pacer Sandeep Sharma defended his team's fragile middle-order and its tendency to fall apart in the ongoing IPL, saying it is not wise to form opinions after "one failure".
The batsmen in the middle did get starts but could not go on to score big.
On the middle-order woes facing his team, Sharma said: "The fact is that our opening pair has been batting so good that middle order was not tested. Even in this game, Warner played through, only in one game the middle order collapsed and from one game alone an opinion cannot be formed.
"We have talented batsman in middle order -- Yusuf Pathan, Mohd Nabi, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey."
Sharma, who took two wickets, blamed the moisture on the wicket and heavy dew later on for their defeat.
The seamer said, "It had rained in the morning, wicket had moisture because of which batting was a bit tough. In the end (when SRH was bowling) heavy dew was a big factor, ball was getting wet. The batting was easy in second half than first half."
"With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and me as swing bowlers, the plan was to take wickets, but in second half heavy dew caused problem. As the match progressed, we tried to remain in contest, we tried to take wickets, but at the end of the day K L (Rahul) played a match-winning knock."
"We will rectify our mistakes, and hopefully, we will bounce back in the next games," Sharma said.