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Rahul’s Special Effort Propel KXIP To Opening Win

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) team displayed a sensational performance to open its account in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 with an amazing 8-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the ninth game of the season. In the first innings, Quinton de Kock smashed a blazing half-century to guide his team towards an imposing first innings total. But then in the chase, KL Rahul played a terrific match-winning knock to help his team cross the finishing line pretty easily.

De Kock’s sensational opening blitz powers Mumbai to a challenging total

After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, the two MI openers, skipper Rohit Sharma and wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock got their team off to a blazing start. The duo stitched an excellent opening partnership of 51 runs in just 5.2 overs to provide their team with a solid foundation at the top. Even after Rohit’s dismissal in the sixth over, de Kock continued to play his aggressive brand of cricket, racking up an amazing half-century off just 35 balls. After a poor start, KXIP fast bowler Mohammed Shami came back strongly in his second spell to remove the dangerous de Kock.  

Nonetheless, the Proteas wicket-keeper still did an exceptional job, smashing a blistering knock of 60 runs off just 39 balls which included 6 fours and 2 sixes. Many of the middle-order batters got some starts, but all of them failed to convert them into big innings. However, towards the end, Hardik Pandya once again blasted an entertaining cameo of 31 runs off only 19 balls, to power his team towards a pretty challenging total of 176 runs. For KXIP, the trio of Shami, Viljoen and Ashwin claimed two wickets each.

Rahul’s excellent knock leads Punjab in the run-chase

Chasing a stiff target of 177 runs, the two KXIP openers, Chris Gayle and KL Rahul started the innings on a tentative note, scoring just 38 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. However, Gayle started showing his true colours just after the powerplay, smashing Hardik for two successive sixes in the seventh over. After showing a slight trailer, Gayle failed to play a big innings, perishing for a total of 40 runs.

The Karnataka duo comprising of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul then joined hands to resurrect the Punjab innings with an excellent stand of 64 runs. KL Rahul struggled to rotate the strike at the start of his innings, but after playing some deliveries, he started taking down even the two best death bowlers in Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah for some crisp boundaries. Rahul played a fantastic unbeaten knock of 71 runs off 57 balls which included 6 fours and 1 six and in turn helped his team pick up a comfortable victory with more than seven balls to spare.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 176/7 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock-60, Rohit Sharma-32; Murugan Ashwin 2/25, Hardus Viljoen 2/40) lost to Kings XI Punjab 177/2 in 18.4 overs (KL Rahul-71*, Mayank Agarwal-43; Krunal Pandya 2/42)