New Delhi, May 14: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the must win game to get into the playoffs stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017.
But Pune will miss the services of their most bankable player of the tournament in Ben Stokes, who will be leaving for England on Sunday (May 14).
Miffed with England Cricket Board's decision of calling Stokes and Jos Buttler at a crucial juncture of the tournament to represent their national side, former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen termed it a pathetic move.
"I think it's pathetic. An absolute shambles," Pietersen was quoted by Skysports as saying.
"Stokes should be playing in the semi-final, and the final. The last week of the IPL is a huge occasion. Just speak to him, speak to Jos Buttler, they'll talk about how much it has helped their development being out there," he further added.
"What are they going to Spain for? To field a couple of balls? He should be playing in the IPL. I'm going to be in Mumbai for the semi-final on Tuesday and I'm excited by that as a commentator - that stadium is electric.
"It's only going to be benefiting English cricket for that bloke to be playing on Tuesday, getting his team to a final on Sunday, and then possibly lifting the trophy. He is the kind of player that could do that," a visibly livid Pietersen was quoted as saying.
The Pune victory came off a superb performance by their bowlers which was later complemented by their top-rung batsmen to overhaul the paltry 74-run target set by a hapless Punjab.
Pune now have 18 points in 14 matches and are at the second spot. They displaced Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who slipped to the fourth spot with 16 points.
They will now face table-toppers Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier game on May 16. That's why Pune are going to miss their all-rounder, who also happened to be the costliest buy of the IPL 2017 auction.