Sharjah [UAE], September 28 (ANI): Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper KL Rahul said he thought they had the game in their pocket after suffering a defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals here on Sunday.
However, the captain has exuded confidence in his side stating that they will learn and "come back strongly".
Rajasthan Royals chased down a massive target of 224 runs against KXIP to pull off the highest-ever run chase in the Indian Premier League (IPL) history.
The Steve Smith-led side won the match by four wickets. Mayank Agarwal's scored a century but it was not enough for KXIP to secure a win as Rajasthan Royals chased down the target in the last over.
"Look, this is T20 cricket, we have seen it so many years now, we did a lot of things right, we have to keep our chin up and come back stronger. A lot of positives tonight, we did a lot of things right, but such things do happen, a great game of cricket, we have to give it to them (Rajasthan Royals)," Rahul told host broadcaster Star Sports in the post-match presentation.
"The game keeps you humble all the time, I honestly did think we had the game in our pocket. Towards the end, they batted well and put pressure on our bowlers which led to mistakes. I back them to do the job, they have done well in the last two games, it's OK to have one bad game. It's good that this came early in the tournament, they will only learn from this and come back strongly," he added.
During the match, Agarwal and Rahul had scripted the highest opening stand for Punjab in the tournament's history. The duo had a 183-run stand for the first wicket which is also the second-highest opening stand in the IPL.
However, Sanju Samson's 85-run knock and Rahul Tewatia's heroics in the final overs took Rajasthan Royals over the line. Tewatia, who scored 53 runs, had smashed five sixes to Sheldon Cottrell in the 18th over.
Rahul further stated: "Small grounds and the total doesn't really matter. We have seen in the last seven or eight games - be it in Sharjah or in Dubai, the bowlers are going the distance at the back end in this tournament so far, the teams are backing their batsmen to have a go at the death and get those big overs - Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia did really well, they were set, played superbly well and they deserve this win." (ANI)