IPL 2019: KL Rahul shines as Kings XI pip Sunrisers and vault into top 4

KL Rahul hit his 13th Indian Premier League (IPL) fifty on Monday to help Kings XI Punjab gun down a 151-run target in a last over thriller against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. | KXIP vs SRH – Highlights |

Kings XI Punjab vaulted into the top-four after the six-wicket win at home. This was also KXIP’s seventh straight win at the PCA Stadium in Mohali, which has been their fortress over the last two seasons of IPL.

Kings XI Punjab were cruising towards the 151-run target, needing 19 runs from their last 18 balls. However, Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Sandeep Sharma gave his team a window of opportunity by removing a well-set Mayank Agarwal and the explosive David Miller in the same over.

Siddharth Kaul, who had conceded 37 iin his first three overs, made a fine comeback to give away only five runs in the penultimate over. Needing 11 in the last over, Rahul kept his nerves and hit Mohammad Nabi for a boundary and helped Punjab cross the finish line.

Rahul’s knock oozed class as he kept the scoreboard moving without taking a lot of risks on what seemed to be a sluggish pitch. The India opener remained unbeaten on 71, his third fifty-plus score in IPL 2019.

Rahul showcased why he is rated as one of the best going around as he used the crease, cutting, pulling and driving the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers who were struggling a bit because of the late evening dew in Mohali.

Rahul was given able support by his Karnataka and India teammate Mayank Agarwal as the duo added 114 runs from just 84 balls for the second wicket. Kings XI Punjab’s chase of 151 was jolted early as Sunrisers’ star leg-spinner Rashid Khan removed Chris Gayle early.

Chris Gayle had smashed 104 off just 63 balls in IPL 2018 when Sunrisers visited Mohali. However, there was no Gayle show at the PCA Stadium on Monday as Rashid, who had leaked 55 in four overs last year, got Gayle in his first over.

However, Rahul and Mayank took control of the chase and used all their experience to bat Sunrisers Hyderabad out of the contest. Agarwal had a lucky escape when he was batting on 40 as Yusuf Pathan dropped a sitter to hand the Kings XI batsman a reprieve when Kings XI were needing 37 from 27 balls.

Shortly after the drop, Mayank Agarwal tonked Siddharth Kaul, who was ordinary on the evening, for a huge six to bring up his second IPL 2019 fifty.

Sunrisers managed only 150 after Warner’s slowest IPL fifty

Earlier, in the day, Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen struggled to get their timing right and ended up posting a below-par score of 150. David Warner played an uncharacteristic innings on what was a sluggish wicket as he hit his slowest IPL fifty.

Warner remained unbeaten on 70 from 62 balls even as the other big names in the Sunrisers line-up, including Jonny Bairstow and Vijay Shankar, failed. Deepak Hooda’s cameo (3-ball 14) helped Sunrisers reach the 150-run mark, which looked improbable when they were struggling for momentum for most part of the first innings.

Kings XI Punjab bowlers and captain R Ashwin deserve a lof credit as they bowled tight lines and made sure they didn’t provide enough room for David Warner to free his arms.

Warner was visibly frustrated on multiple occasions as he was not able to get the boundaries despite being in fine form in the ongoing season.

Kings XI Punjab will travel to Mumbai with a lot of confidence for the seventh match of the ongoing season against Mumbai Indians on April 10.

Also Read | KL Rahul very respectful towards women, says Preity Zinta

Also Read | Watch: Chris Gayle does the Bhangra as Kings XI Punjab return to Mohali


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *