Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) captain Steve Smith was ecstatic after the win against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) which helped Pune qualify for the play-offs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday. In a potential knock-out clash, RPS defeated KXIP by nine wickets to finish second in the points table behind Mumbai Indians, which means they will get two shots for a place in the summit clash. It was complete domination by the home team, which first skittled out Kings XI Punjab for a paltry 73 and then knocked off the runs in only 12 overs.
"It was a nice day. The bowlers did a terrific job," said Smith.
Though he also termed Ben Stokes to be a big loss for the team in the Play-Offs and said th team will surely miss his presence.
"Yeah, we have a couple of options for Stokes. He has been magnificent and will be a big loss. Hopefully, the other guys will stand up for us," he said.
Stokes, the costliest player of IPL who will leave for national duty, scored 316 runs from 12 games with 103 not out being his highest. With the ball, the English all-rounder picked up 12 wickets from as many games. Smith said toss played a crucial in deciding the outcome of the match.
"We were fortunate to win the toss, the ball was stopping. It was an easy decision today, the wicket was sticky. Shardul (Thakur) was outstanding, (Jaydev) Unadkat again was outstanding," he said.
Kings XI Punjab skipper Glenn Maxwell too agreed with his Australian teammate and said losing the toss didn't augur well for them in the crucial game.
"The toss had something to do with it. The wicket was damp after a few days of rain. It was just about assessing the conditions. Everything went against us and we could not recover. We have lost our last five tosses. Unfortunately in the IPL, a lot can be decided by the toss," he said.
Maxwell said despite failing to qualify for the play-offs there were a lot of positives to take from this edition of the IPL.
"We did not finish last, which was great. The way we played our last four of five games was great. Axar (Patel) was outstanding with bat, ball, and (in) the field. We will reflect on the positives in the change room. Thanks to the fans for the support," he said.
(With PTI inputs)