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Rahul, Agarwal And Bowlers Ease Out KXIP To Fourth Win

In the 22nd game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 expedition, Kings XI Punjab recorded a brilliant 6-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. The wicket was seriously not an easy one to bat on throughout the duration of the match. But first it was SRH opener David Warner who played an amazing yet uncharacteristic half-century knock to carry his team towards a respectable first innings total.

While then in the run-chase, Karnataka batting pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal showed some phenomenal temperament to compile a superb century partnership to relieve all the pressure. Towards the end, KXIP did witness a slight brain fade moment as they somehow managed to take the game till the last over, after which KL Rahul and Sam Curran batted sensibly well to help their team register its fourth win of the season.

Warner’s gritty half-century knock takes SRH to some sort of respectability

KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin won the toss and opted to bowl first because both the captains reckoned that the dew factor will be looking large in the second innings. The visiting team got off to poor start, losing in-form opener Jonny Bairstow with just seven runs on the board. After his dismissal, the duo of David Warner and Vijay Shankar stitched a struggling partnership of 49 runs as clearly both the batters never looked at ease during the stand. The KXIP bowlers displayed brilliant combined effort to keep the opposition batters under the pump.

However, after a tentative start, Warner held things up from one end very nicely, notching up his sixth straight half-century against KXIP. The wicket was certainly not an easy one to bat on, but Warner batted very well for his fluent unbeaten knock of 72 runs which included 6 fours and 1 six. Towards the end, Deepak Hooda finally showed some sort of firepower, striking Mohammed Shami for 14 runs off the last three deliveries of the final over to help SRH reach a fighting total of 150 runs. For KXIP, the trio of Mujeeb, Shami and Ashwin bowled very nicely to contain the opposition.

Mayank and Rahul’s efficient companionship leads KXIP in the chase

Just like Hyderabad, KXIP also did not get off to the best of starts as big-hitting opening batsman, Chris Gayle was sent back to the pavilion in just the fourth over. After Gayle’s early wicket, the Karnataka duo comprising of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal combined together to resurrect KXIP out of the troublesome situation. The pair showed some great composure and patience to keep the SRH bowlers at bay during the middle-overs stage.

Whenever the required run-rate started to rise, one of Agarwal or Rahul managed to score a boundary to relieve the immense pressure of delivering this time in a successful run-chase. Rahul found himself in a similar kind of situation in the previous match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as well, but that time his partner was Sarfaraz Khan and the duo faced severe flak for their strange tentative approach which invited a disappointing loss. But Rahul absolutely left no stone unperturbed this time, racking up a fabulous half-century off just 34 balls. Agarwal also supported his partner splendidly well with a fluent knock of 55 runs which included 3 fours and 3 sixes.

In the 18th over, SRH fast bowler Sandeep Sharma did manage to inflict some sort of jitters in the KXIP dressing room, removing first Agarwal and then Miller in a single over to ensure a close finish. But fittingly towards the end, the duo of KL Rahul and Sam Curran held their nerves sensationally well to guide KXIP to a blazing win.

Brief Scores:

SRH: 150/4 in 20 overs (David Warner-72*, Vijay Shankar-26; Mohammed Shami 1/30, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/30)

KXIP: 151/4 in 19.5 overs (KL Rahul-71*, Mayank Agarwaal-55; Sandeep Sharma 2/21)

Result: Kings XI Punjab won the match by 6 wickets.