IPL 2020: Kings bow to Royals in Sharjah
Punjab's mammoth total was raised by sensational power hitting of Agarwal and a 183-run opening partnership with skipper Rahul
Rajasthan Royals' heroes Sanju Samson (85), Rahul Tewatia (53) and Steven Smith (50) pulled off a record chase of 226 runs in a four-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday evening.
Chasing the Indian Premier League's highest target of 224 runs, three key partnerships: Samson-Smith (81), Samson-Tewatia (61) and Tewatia-Robin Uthappa (42) propelled the Royals to an improbable target. It also rendered in vain the awesome efforts of Punjab's Mayank Agarwal (106) in scoring his maiden century and sharing a 183-run opening partnership with skipper KL Rahul (69 runs). At the end, 223 for loss of two wickets wasn't enough on a flat Sharjah pitch.
But while chasing, Royals didn't have the best of starts as Punjab's Sheldon Cottrell removed opener Jos Buttler (4) cheaply courtesy a fine catch by Sarfaraz Khan but new batsman Samson smoked a six and four to restore parity. Maintaining the momentum Smith went after Mohammed Shami and found great success. With Royals racing to 44 from 4 overs, KL Rahul introduced young spinner Ravi Bishnoi and James Neesham but the decision didn't yield the desired results as the scoring rate soared to 92 from 8 overs.
Smith reached his 50 from 27 balls but was soon felled by Neesham. With skipper back in the hut, Punjab managed to halt Royals march. Runs dried up as Tewatia couldn't get going.
Samson got lucky as he was dropped on 51 by Bishnoi. He made Punjab rue the lost chance by smoking three sixes in one Glenn Maxwell over costing 21 runs. Samson reduced the deficit to 63 from 24 balls. But Shami returned to have Samson (42-ball 85) caught behind without causing further damage.
Uthappa joined an off-colour Tewatia and raised hopes with consecutive boundaries. Tewatia grew in confidence and turned the tables with five massive sixes in Cottrell's over. After the 18th over, a sensational Tewatia's score rocketed from 23-ball 17 to 29-ball 47.
But Shami removed Uthappa (9). New batsman Jofra Archer struck two sixes and Tewatia a maximum to reach his fifty. However, he perished (31-ball 53) but not before taking Royals to the doorstep of a great victory. With just two needed to win, Tom Curran kept his cool to drive Royals into the IPL history books.
Earlier, Punjab's mammoth total was raised by sensational power hitting of Agarwal and a 183-run opening partnership with skipper Rahul. In-form Punjab openers went blazing from the start by punishing pacers and spinners alike. Dealing in sixes and boundaries, Agarwal, the aggressor of the two, raced to his 50 from 26 balls.
After 10 overs, the Punjab openers had added 110 runs as Smith kept rotating bowlers but failed to find a breakthrough.
It was a treat to watch as Rahul kept taking a single at the very start of the over to give the strike to a rampaging Agarwal, who plonked maximums with ease. Rahul too sailed to his 50 from 35 balls. And later Agarwal took just 45 balls to raise his maiden century.
But Agarwal (50-ball 106) perished in the slog overs to Tom Curran. Ankit Rajpoot pulled things back with scalps of Rahul but Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran ensured a score of 223 from 20 overs.
Kings XI Punjab
K Rahul c Gopal b Rajpoot 69
M Agarwal c Samson b Curran 106
G Maxwell not out 13
N Pooran not out 25
Extras (b1, nb1, w8) 10
Total (2 wkts, 20 overs) 223
Fall of wickets: 1-183, 2-194
Bowling: J Unadkat 3-0-30-0; A Rajpoot 4-0-39-1; J Archer 4-0-46-0; S Gopal 4-0-44-0; R Tewatia 1-0-19-0; T Curran 4-0-44-1
J Buttler c Khan b Cottrell 4
S Smith c M Shami b Neesham 50
S Samson c Rahul b M Shami 85
R Tewatia c Agarwal b M Shami 53
R Uthappa c Pooran b M Shami 9
J Archer not out 13
R Parag b Ashwin 0
TK Curran not out 4
Extras (b1, lb1, w6) 8
Total (6 wkts, 19.3 overs) 226
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-100, 3-161, 4-203, 5-222, 6-222
Bowling: S Cottrell 3-0-52-1; M Shami 4-0-53-3; R Bishnoi 4-0-34-0; J Neesham 4-0-40-1; M Ashwin 1.3-0-16-1; G Maxwell 3-0-29-0
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