Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul on Friday blamed his side’s inability to defend a decent total against Rajasthan Royals in their IPL match to the dew factor, saying it made life miserable for his bowlers, especially the spinners as they struggled to grip the ball.

Sent in to bat, KXIP posted a decent 185 for four but RR overhauled the target with ease, scoring 186 for three in 17.3 overs.

“It was a horrible toss to lose to be honest. It did get very easy to bat later on. There was a lot of dew in the second half and that made it a bit tough for the bowlers to grip the ball,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation.

“When you’re operating with two leg spinners like we are, it does make things difficult. Don’t think we bowled that badly but need to operate better with the wet ball. The dew has been unpredictable this season. You can’t prepare for it but need to adapt to it.”

The seven-wicket loss snapped KXIP’s string of five wins, making their final league match a do-or-die affair.

Talking about their campaign, Rahul said: “The season has been such that nothing has come easy. We’ve had to work hard for every point. No surprise that it has come down to the last game.”

RR skipper Steve Smith was a happy man after his side notched up back-to-back wins but said they still have a job at hand when they face Kolkata Knight Riders in their final league match.

“The season has ebbed and flowed, yes. Would have been nice to have a couple of wins in the middle. We still need to do a bit to make the playoffs, and we need things to go our way. Having said that, if that happens, we are playing very good cricket,” he said.

On Sanju Samson’s run-out on 48, Smith said, “It was unfortunate, but you take positives from every situation. It gave Jos a chance to bat after a five-day break. He hit them well so this is a good sign.

“Sanju started the tournament really well, then in the middle couldn’t get going, but that is T20 cricket. You have got to keep trusting the process.”

Ben Stokes was the star performer for the team as he smashed a whirlwind 50 and also claimed two wickets.

“Ben is a class player, plays proper shots, hits balls in weird areas, and did a job with the ball too. One of the best in the world,” Smith said.

Stokes, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his all-round show, said he came into the game with the same mentality as he was against Mumbai Indians.

“I think when you are in a position like we are, you have nothing to lose. We are still hanging in. That is pleasing. The sixes are always pleasing. I went in the same mentality like I did against MI. Wanted to go hard with the new ball,” he said.

“We had a decent break from the last game. We normally have a quick turnaround. I cut down on the bowling part in the break to remain fresh.”