Kings XI Punjab [KXIP] finally broke their five-match losing streak in the ongoing Dream11 IPL thanks to a brilliant 93-run-stand between KL Rahul [61 not-out] and Chris Gayle [53 off 45 balls] against Royal Challengers Bangalore [RCB] in Sharjah on Thursday to gain two valuable points in IPL 2020.
Chasing 172, Kings XI Punjab once again got off to a brilliant start thanks to another 50-plus stand between KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
Mayank Agarwal took the attack to both spinners and fast bowlers in the powerplay, and he did that with some of the most audacious strokes that you’ll ever see. Agarwal was eventually castled by Chahal, post which the spinners went to create a stranglehold on Chris Gayle and KL Rahul in the next 3-4 overs.
KL Rahul eventually broke the shackles by launching Mohammad Siraj for two sixes and Gayle joined the party thereafter as he smoked Washington Sundar for two sixes in the next over. Gayle survived an LBW scare against Chris Morris and it proved to be the turning point in the game as the duo went on to attack the likes of Siraj and Sundar in the next few overs to not only bring up their respective half-centuries but also effectively seal the run-chase.
But, as has been the case with KXIP this season, it isn’t over till it’s over and the KL Rahul-led side once again threatened to bottle the winning position as they brought the equation from 11 runs in 18 balls to 1 off the last delivery. Ultimately, Nicholas Pooran stroked a six off the last delivery to seal KXIP’s second win of the season against RCB.
Earlier, RCB baffled with their batting-order tactics as the likes of Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube were promoted ahead of an in-form AB de Villiers. The move backfired as none of Sundar or Dube failed to light up the inning while Virat too struggled to get going on a slow pitch. AB de Villiers didn’t look in his elements while batting at No.6 and when he and Kohli were dismissed in the same over by Mohammed Shami, it looked like RCB would fall way short of the par-score. Ultimately, a late-over heist by Chris Morris and Isuru Udana propelled the side to an eventual match-losing total of 6-171.
Here’s how IPL 2020 points table is looking after KXIP’s 8-wicket win over RCB