Is it KXIP's new style to bring down easy matches at the last moment?
By S Sai Jagannath
Cricket is a game of margins and can be harsh at times. A few millimetres inside the line can decide a four or six, a few millimetres outside the line can decide whether it's a legal delivery or not and similarly a few millimetres across the line can decide whether it's a wide or not. Believe me, cricket is a huge game but I don't need to explain how often we have seen teams winning and losing due to these small margins. And in such an elite and rich tournament like IPL, one match can affect the whole campaign.
KXIP who have currently won only 2 matches of 8 they played have faced a lot of criticism over the last few weeks due to their performance. They have missed opportunities in margins which have cost them almost 3matches. During the last match when they faced RCB(the only team that they won against in the tournament so far) was narrowed down to one ball one run from a far better position. KXIP needed 2runs of 7 deliveries until Punjab batsmen decided to take the game deeper. The victory came at the last ball only when Pooran hit Chahal for a six over long-on not too far away from Chris Morris. They made a big deal out of the match even after such a terrific start from the openers.
Earlier in the tournament when Punjab played against DC while chasing an easy target of 157, they got themselves into a position where the scores were tied resulting in a super over which thereafter led to a loss for Punjab. This wasn't only the first instance when they lost by close margins, a match later when they faced RR defending a mammoth total of 227, KXIP lost the match cheaply to Rajasthan after giving away almost 50runs in last two overs. It seems cruel to read these horrific games but the list doesn't end here. Not many days ago they lost against KKR by a margin of only 2 runs. The viewers were shocked with the kind of gameplay Punjab showed. They needed 7 of the last delivery when Maxwell hit Narine for a four just an inch short of the boundary rope restricting themselves to a super over.
Some may say it's bad luck and sympathise over their losses but at the end of the day, cricket is a game of your combined actions and decisions that defines your victory or your loss. With only 4 points on the board and 2 wins out of the 8, they have dwindled their chances of entering into playoffs unless they win all the remaining games which seem next to impossible. But again this is cricket and you never know anything completely unless the chances decline to 0.0%.