Chris Gayle made an impact and KL Rahul continued his impressive form as Kings XI Punjab once again come out on top against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
Kings XI have found wins hard to come by in 2020 but have now triumphed in both games with Bangalore, albeit only after surviving a late wobble on Thursday.
Gayle made 53 from 45 balls but was run out from the penultimate delivery with the scores level. That left Nicholas Pooran to come out and face one ball, which he proceeded to launch down the ground for six.
The eight-wicket victory gives Kings XI renewed hope for the season, though they remain bottom of the table.
Rahul – who made 132 not out in the previous meeting of the two franchises – finished up unbeaten on 61, in the process extending his lead at the top of the run-scoring table.
Opening partner Mayank Agarwal weighed in with 45 as Bangalore’s total of 171-6 was not quite enough, despite the unexpected final-over drama.
Virat Kohli had top-scored with 48 but the Royal Challengers struggled to pick up the run-rate, making the decision to leave AB de Villiers down at six in the order even more surprising.
The South African made just two but compatriot Chris Morris was far more successful in the closing stages, an eight-ball cameo seeing him make 25 not out.
— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) October 15, 2020
DE VILLIERS MADE TO WAIT
De Villiers was at his explosive best against Kolkata Knight Riders last time out, smashing an unbeaten 73 from 33 balls.
Despite that explosive display of hitting, Bangalore sent both Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube in ahead of him, before he eventually came out with four overs to go.
THE UNIVERSE BOSS IS BACK!
Gayle’s involvement in the tournament was delayed by food poisoning, leading to a spell in hospital. He batted in the unfamiliar position of three for Kings XI, coming in after the opening duo had put on 78.
After a cautious start, the left-hander cut loose with a solitary four and five sixes. Even his demise added a little drama, but Pooran finished the job in style with a maximum off Yuzvendra Chahal.