KL Rahul-led Kings XI Punjab ended their losing streak in the 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) after an 8-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore. With this win, KXIP keeps themselves alive with two crucial points. Punjab skipper KL Rahul won the ‘Man of the Match’ award for scintillating knock in the game.
After winning the toss, RCB skipper Virat Kohli opted to bat first at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. They continued the game with their winning combination and took the field with the same XI. On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab made as many as three changes in their lineup. Chris Gayle, Murugan Ashwin and Deepak Hooda came in the side for Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mandeep Singh and Simran Singh.
Batting first, RCB openers Aaron Finch and Devdutt Padikkal provided their team with a good start before losing their wickets for 20 and 18 runs respectively. Virat Kohli too played a decent knock of 48 runs in the middle-overs. But RCB missed out on a trick after not sending last game’s ‘Man of the Match’ AB de Villiers at the right time.
The former South Africa wicket-keeper batsman came to bat at number six, after Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube. Chris Morris and Isuru Udana played some big shots at the end to help their team post 171-6 on the board after 20 overs.
Murugan Ashwin emerged as the best bowler for KXIP in this match with his spell of 4-0-23-2. Shami also bowled well before the 20th over where he took the crucial wickets of Kohli and de Villiers.
Easy run-chase for KXIP batsmen
Kings XI Punjab opened the inning with their usual openers, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Both of them got to a tremendous start after scoring 56 for no loss at the end of the powerplay. Agarwal got out after scoring a quick-fire 45, but KL Rahul went on to play till the end for his unbeaten knock of 61*.
Chris Gayle too scored a brilliant half-century in his maiden game of the season. The match got a bit tense before Nicholas Pooran smashed a six on the last ball to clinch the game for his side.