Sports

We'll miss Stokes in play-offs, says Smith

In a potential knock-out clash, Pune today defeated Kings XI Punjab 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.

"We were searching a bit in the first few games. We had new players coming in, we have a good balance now. Really good to finish second and have bites at the cherry. 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 added.

Stokes, the costliest player of IPL who will leave for national duty after today's match, 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.

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