IPL 2020: KL Rahul’s pyrotechnics puts RCB to shade at Dubai's Ring of Fire’
The Kings XI Punjab skipper coshes unbeaten 132 as they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 97 runs
Heís the man Virat Kohli backed in the Indian team and even the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper couldnít help but admire and applaud after witnessing that top quality batsmanship.
Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul conjured a batting masterclass to cosh the first century of this seasonís Indian Premier League (IPL) as they put the Royal Challengers Bangalore to shade at the ĎRing of Fireí on Thursday night.
The Karnataka batsman oozed class as he fired his way to an unbeaten 132, his second IPL 100 as the Kings XI Punjab inflicted a 97-run humiliation on Kohliís side at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Rahulís knock, also his highest score after his unbeaten 100 against the Mumbai Indians last season, came from 69 deliveries and was studded with 14 boundaries and seven towering sixes.
It was the highest score by an Indian player in the IPL as Kings XI Punjab racked up 206-3. And the bowlers then responded by having the Royal Challengers Bangalore star-studded batting line-up in tatters.
RCB, who were four for three just three overs into the chase, were eventually shot out for a paltry 109 in 17 overs. At one point, it seemed that they would threaten the lowest total in the IPL. RCB hold that embarrassing record of 49 against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in 2017.
It was more damage limitation than anything else as opener Aaron Finch and AB de Villiers tried to give some semblance of respect to their innings after West Indian pacer Sheldon Cottrell had broken their back with two early strikes.
And while Rahul and his lions roared, it was a day to forget for Kohli and his team. Apart from watching Rahul sink his teeth into the RCB bowlers, Kohli himself had an off day on the field, dropping Rahul twice and then failing with the bat during the chase.
Earlier, Kohli won the toss again and as has been the case, decided to put the opposition in, keeping in mind the dew factor later on.
Kings XI Punjab had a fluent start to their innings with the Bangalore boys Rahul and Mayank Agarwal going well against their hometown side.
Kings XI Punjab had raced to 41 for no loss from five overs with captain Rahul making 21 from 16, while Agarwal had 20 from 14 balls.
The openers negotiated the fast bowlers Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn and Navdeep Saini with some good cricketing shots, with the standout being Rahulís trademark cover drive. Kings XI Punjab had a fruitful powerplay with them reaching 50 for the loss of no wicket.
Yuzvendra Chahal came into the attack after the powerplay and struck immediately, having Agarwal castled. Agarwal tried to play him through covers but couldnít read the googly and saw his furniture disturbed.
Agarwal made 26 from 20 balls with four boundaries and the pair had put on 57 for the opening wicket.
Kings XI Punjab were going at a good pace and reached 90 for one in the first 10 overs with Rahul three away from a half-century. He then reached his 17th 50 from 36 balls, with a single off Washington Sundar.
Kings XI Punjab then touched the 100 mark in 12 overs with KL on 52 and Nicholas Pooran on 16. The duo had put on a partnership of 43 for the second wicket.
Rahul earned two reprieves, first on 83 and then on 89, with Kohli fluffing both. And the 28-year-old made them pay a heavy price as he strode to his century from 62 balls with 12 fours and three sixes, by guiding Steyn over third man for a boundary.
He clubbed Steyn for 26 runs, that included three sixes and two boundaries in the penultimate over of the innings.
Kings XI Punjab smoked 49 runs from the last two overs as Rahul skated from 90 off 60 balls to 132 from 69.
Kings XI Punjab: 206-3 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 132 not out, Mayank Agarwal 26, Nicholas Pooran 17, Karun Nair 15 not out, Shivam Dube 2-33) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore:†109 all out in 20 overs (Washington Sundar 30, AB de Villiers 28, Aaron Finch 20, Ravi Bishnoi 3-31, Sheldon Cottrell 2-17) by 97 runs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (C), 4 AB de Villiers, Josh Philippe (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Dale Steyn, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (C) (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan, Jimmy Neesham, M Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell.
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