PHOTO: SportzPics

It was a day to remember for Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul as his 132* helped the franchise get their first win of the 2020 Dream11 Indian Premier League. Rahul’s ton powered KXIP to a convincing 97 run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday at the Dubai International Stadium. 

“I have actually not been so confident. I had a chat with Maxi yesterday, he said how are you feeling, I said that I am not feeling completely in control of my batting, he said you must be joking, you are hitting it really well. Quite honestly I was nervous but I knew if I spent time in the middle, hit a few balls from the middle of the bat, it would all settle down,” said Rahul in the post press presentation about his trailblazing knock.  

The skipper of KXIP may have been nervous but did not show in his batting, as he broke the back of the RCB bowling attack with his precise strokes. Rahul got the first century of the 2020 Dream11 Indian Premier League, and set a slew of records in his majestic innings in Dubai.

The 28-year-old claimed the record for the highest score by an Indian in the IPL, toppling the score of 127* in the 2018 edition. He also claimed the record for the highest score by a franchise captain, beating out David Warner’s 126 for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2017. 

The KXIP skipper also recorded the second highest individual score against RCB, only trumped by Brendon McCullum’s 158* back in 2008. On an individual level, he also was second highest for the most runs scored by a player in the final two overs of a game, as he scored 40 runs against Dale Steyn and Shivam Dube in the final two overs this time. 

KL Rahul got to 2000 runs in the IPL in this game, and became the fastest Indian player to achieve that feat, getting to that mark after just 60 games, three better than the previous record holder Sachin Tendulkar. The opening batsman also claimed the record for the most runs scored in fours and sixes in an innings by a KXIP player, beating out another Indian stalwart-Virender Sehwag for that feat. 

Rahul also became just the second player in the history of the IPL to score centuries in two different countries, with his first ton coming against the Mumbai Indians in 2019.

Just two games into the tournament and the KXIP skipper already seems to have set records that will most likely stand the test of time, ever intimidating to usurp. Punjab fans however would hope this is just the beginning for the stylish opener, who very much seems to have set the tone for IPL 2020.