Oh Kings XI Punjab! You really know how to bottle a match-winning position, sending your loyal supporters into a nervous breakdown. And, you almost achieved that for the second time in a row during the fixture against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah on Thursday.
Chasing 172, the ever-so stylish KL Rahul and the ‘Universe Boss’ had taken KXIP on the cusp of victory by reducing the equation to 11 runs in the last 18 balls.
What happened during the course of the next 17 balls, was summed up brilliantly by KXIP batting coach, Wasim Jaffer after he posted that famous Ravi Shastri picture after the Indian coach had said ‘Thodi der ke liye goti muh me aa gaya tha” in the wake of India’s nail-biting victory against Australia in Adelaide during the famous 2017-18 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The duo of Rahul and Gayle, after having batted so brilliantly for the major part of the innings, managed just 10 runs off the next 17 balls to bring the equation down to 1 off 1 ball. And, to make matters worse, Gayle was dismissed on the penultimate delivery, leaving newcomer Nicholas Pooran with the task to ensure that for once KXIP got over the line in the tricky run-chase.
Pooran proceeded to stroke a straight six on the last delivery to finally seal an eight-wicket win for the franchise- their second of the tournament. KL Rahul was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ for his unbeaten 49-ball 61.