Mohali: Pune Warriors India skipper Aaron Finch was heartbroken after his side lost a close match against the Kings XI Punjab, here on Sunday. The hosts won the clash by 7 wickets with a ball to spare.
Finch, who earlier led from the front hammering a 42-ball 64 to help Pune reach a challenging 185 for 4, said the loss was hard to digest after a spirited batting effort.
"Hats off to Punjab batsmen, the way they went about their chase. We probably had the game under control till about the 18th over. But it's tough for bowlers when you have got a big-hitter like David Miller at the crease. The loss is a bitter one to swallow for us," he said at the post-match presentation ceremony at the PCA stadium.
The burly right-hander was the latest to be given the reigns of the struggling Pune side after Angelo Mathews and Ross Taylor had captained the team but secured just two wins in 6 previous matches. Finch said he had the management's backing to lead the side.
"Guys supported me well right throughout but a win today would have been better for me and our side," said the 26-year-old.
Meanwhile, one of the chief architects of Punjab's win, opener Mandeep Singh was pleased as punch after taking the home side through in the final over.
"This is an amazing win for us. As an opener I had prepared for a long time to bat the full 20 overs and am just glad I could pull it off. I was just looking to bat through and credit to David Miller as well, he took the pressure off me with his big hits," said the 21-year-old right-hander, who scored an unbeaten 77 - his best IPL score.
Mandeep's more enterprising partner in a match-winning 128-run stand - David Miller - regarded his 41-ball 80 not out as his best T20 innings till date.
"Mandeep and I just planned to go about the chase by playing each ball on its merit and it worked for us. This definitely is my best knock in T20 cricket," said the South African left-hander after receiving the man-of-the-match award.