Mohali: Man-of-the-match David Miller credited young bowler Akshar Patel for coming good when the team needed it the most, saying that the tailender's knock enabled Kings XI Punjab to defeat Barbados Tridents in the Oppo Champions League T20 match here.
Chasing 175 for victory, Miller smashed a 34-ball 46 under pressure, but it was the nine-ball 23 by the left-arm spinner that brought Kings back into the game as the required run rate in the final few overs kept going up.
Patel's knock was studded with three hits to the fence and a six. Needing 25 off the last two overs with four wickets in hand, Miller and No. 8 batsman Patel scored 47 runs off 19 balls to take their team home.
With Sri Lankan import Thisara Perera putting up an all-round performance for the Kings XI in the previous outing, but failing with the bat here last night, Miller admitted that things did not look good when the former got out.
"I thought we were in a predicament when Perera got out. But when Akshar came out to bat, he absolutely made it look so easy. He took a lot of pressure off me. A lot of credit to him, why we won in the end," Miller said.
Meanwhile, the Barbados skipper Rayad Emrit felt that anything over 170 was a challenging total though his team would have liked to post a target of over 180.
"We know that in the last five overs it always goes for 50-60 runs and one needs to keep it tight," he said.
Ravi Rampaul came in for some heavy thrashing by the KXIP batsmen in the penultimate over, but the skipper felt that he was the "most experienced bowler" under the conditions and it was sheer bad luck for him.
"On another day, he will get it right, Ravi is the most experienced bowler," he said.