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Tewatia’s 2/18 was the turning point in KKR game: Mohit Sharma

Mohit showered heaps of praise on teammates Tewatia, Henry and Sandeep Sharma, who bowled well during the second of the chase to seal a tight 14-run win for Kings XI Punjab.

Mohit Sharma of Kings XI Punjab
Mohit Sharma of Kings XI Punjab celebrates fall of Sunil Narine’s wicket. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Kings XI Punjab kept their hopes of making it to the playoffs alive by a close 14-run against Kolkata Knight Riders at Mohali. Despite Chris Lynn’s heroics, Kings XI bowlers staged a remarkable comeback in the second half of the KKR chase to win the first of the must-win three games.

Lynn and Sunil Narine, as expected, came out all guns blazing to get KKR off to a flying start before the latter was dismissed by a Mohit Sharma off-cutter. His dismissal gave Punjab a chance to claw back into the game as Glenn Maxwell introduced spin from both ends as soon as the fielding restrictions were lifted.

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Playing in only his first match this year, which was also his first for Kings XI, Rahul Tewatia bowled like a veteran to trouble the KKR batsmen. He accounted for key wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa to take the steam out of KKR’s chase. Sandeep Sharma and Mohit then bowled beautifully at the death to make sure that KKR fall short of the target by 14 runs.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Mohit was full of praise for his Haryana teammate Tewatia. “For me, the turning point of the match was the spell by Rahul Tewatia as it was his first match and he created pressure on the batsmen giving just 18 runs in his four overs, taking two wickets. Sandeep Sharma also bowled very well in death overs,” he said.

Mohit said that Punjab emphasised on the process and executed their plans, something which they couldn’t do in their game against Gujarat Lions.

“It was a crucial win for the team and since we lost in the last match we were focused on executing our plans and following our process which was the key to our victory.”

He was awarded the Man of the Match award for his 2/24 off three overs – two of which came during the last four overs. He used his slower balls to bewilder the KKR batsmen and relied more on dot balls to put pressure on the opposition.

“I think T20 is not about only taking wickets but bowling as many dot balls as possible to make pressure on the opposition team”.

Apart from Tewatia, Kings XI debuted another player in this crunch game: Matt Henry. While he was struck for 23 runs in his first two overs which came in the powerplay, Henry bowled a good tight 18th over where he conceded just 8 runs and took the wicket of Manish Pandey. Speaking about his Kiwi colleague, Mohit said that the fellow fast bowler gives him confidence to do well.

“Matt Henry is a really good bowler, I know him from 2014 when he played for Chennai Super Kings, and a good thing about these foreign players is they give you good vibes and confidence to perform at your level best in the match” concluded Mohit.

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