KL Rahul, KXIP captain, was once again at his flamboyant best as he racked up yet another half-century- this time in a winning cause- during his side’s eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah on Thursday.
Chasing 172, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal once again gave a whirlwind start to their side but the dismissal of Agarwal in the 8th over proceeded to put a break on the proceedings for the next three overs as he and especially Chris Gayle found it tough against RCB spinners.
It was in the 12th over that KL Rahul finally broke the shackles as he launched Mohammad Siraj for two monstrous sixes to bring the momentum back in the run-chase.
Siraj made the mistake of pitching it right in the slot for the stylish opener and KL cashed on it big time as he mowed the RCB pacer for two sixes over the mid-wicket boundary. Those two sixes by Rahul proved to be the fillip that KXIP needed as Gayle soon joined the party with two sixes off Washington Sundar in the next over.
KL Rahul soon brought up his 4th fifty of the tournament while Gayle, on the other hand, survived an LBW scare against Morris thanks to an inside edge on what was a brute of a yorker. And, Gayle made full use of the reprieve as he smoked Siraj for a six and four in the 16th over before Rahul smashed yet another six against the fast bowler to effectively kill the run-chase. Gayle smashed Sundar for two more sixes in the next over to bring up his half-century.
KL Rahul stayed unbeaten on a 49-ball 61- an innings which included one four but five sixes- and was eventually adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’- his second against RCB this season.