Kings XI Punjab clinched a thrilling contest last night at the Dubai International Stadium against the Mumbai Indians in the 2020 Dream11 Indian Premier League. It needed two Super Overs to settle the tie on the night, but ultimately the shrewd bowling of Mohammed Shami and the batting bravado of Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal helped KXIP over the line.
While there were plenty of talking points in that riveting game in Dubai, one performance that went slightly under the radar was that of KXIP skipper KL Rahul. The 28-year-old scored his third consecutive fifty of IPL 2020, getting a match-winning knock of 77 on the night. That performance also saw him strengthen his grip on the Orange Cap, as he now has more than a 100 run lead over the second-place batter- who happens to be his teammate Mayank Agarwal.
Alongside that, Rahul also created IPL history yesterday, as he became the first player since the start of the tournament to amass over 500 runs in three consecutive seasons. The opening batsman from Karnataka scored 593 runs in the 2019 IPL season, and 659 runs in the 2018 season. Even some of the most established players in the history of the tournament like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina or David Warner have not been able to achieve this record.
KL Rahul was the most expensive pick by KXIP in the history of their IPL auctions when they got him back in 2018, but the move has paid great dividends. The opening batsman has been the franchise’s leading run getter in both his seasons so far since joining, and remains on course to repeat that feat for the 2020 IPL as well.
Rahul hasn’t put a foot wrong since making the switch from Royal Challengers Bangalore to Kings XI Punjab. He averages just over 60 as a KXIP player in the IPL, and has scored two centuries so far for the franchise. No player has scored as many runs in the IPL as the stylish opener from Karnataka since the 2018 season, truly immortalizing Rahul’s image in Kings XI Punjab folklore.