Kumble: When you leave it to the last couple of balls, it becomes a lottery

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Punjab Kings head coach says their batters should have finished the chase in 19 overs

Anil Kumble, the Punjab Kings coach, was at a loss of words to explain yet another loss from a winning position. Kings failed to score the eight runs they needed off the last two overs to lose to Rajasthan Royals by just two runs. It made their qualifying chances that much harder. A sixth loss in nine games now means Kings will have to win every single game to control their own fate.

“It’s sort of become a pattern for us especially when we get to Dubai, it seems,” Kumble said. “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.”

The loss followed a somewhat similar patten to their game against Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi last year. Back then, they lost despite needing just 22 off 18 balls with nine wickets in hand. On that occasion, they turned a cruise into complete wreckage by throwing their bats around and then being bested by Sunil Narine. Here, they couldn’t quite get bat to ball.

Kumble was particularly irked by his batters not being able to read Tyagi’s plans towards the end.

“It was pretty clear he 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.”

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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