Mumbai: Mumbai Indians spinner Harbhajan Singh said losing skipper and star batsman Rohit Sharma early in the innings while chasing a challenging target against Kings XI Punjab was a big blow for the team.
Put in to bat, Kings XI rode on a good start and late fireworks by skipper George Bailey to post post an imposing 177/5 in 20 overs in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In reply, the home side lost its skipper on the second ball of the innings and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. A late cameo by Harbhajan (64 off 24 balls) and Jagadeesha Suchith (34 not out off 21 balls) went in vain as Mumbai fell short by 18 runs.
"Losing Rohit up front was a big blow for us. He is our best batsman. If he gets going, we chase runs easily. It was always going to be tough when you are 25/4 and 46/5. It's always going to be a chasing game. It wasn't a great game for us but glad we came very close in the end and that will give us the confidence to go forward," Harbhajan said here on Sunday.
The 34-year-old said the loss was unfortunate after coming so close to victory. He praised the opponents for their good use of the new ball.
"It was good to be there hitting those sixes. Trying my best to come close to the game but unfortunately couldn't finish the game for my side. We lost too many wickets up front," said the offie.
"One partnership could have got us out of trouble but that didn't happen. Credit goes to Punjab bowlers. They bowled really well with the new ball."