- Kings XI Punjab won by 6 wickets against Delhi Daredevils after a dominating display
- Lokesh Rahul scored the fastest 50 in the IPL off just 14 balls
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman became the youngest player to play in the IPL
Kings XI Punjab made short work of Delhi Daredevils in their season-opener to win by 6 wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. The Kings’ spinners delivered with the ball while Karnataka boys Lokesh Rahul, with a record-breaking effort, and Karun Nair finished things off for them with the bat, scoring half centuries in their debuts for the Punjabi Lions.
Winning the toss and opting to field, the Kings XI spinners kept the scoring rate under check right from the start. Ravichandran Ashwin opened the bowling but it was Mujeeb Ur Rahman, replacing the skipper at his end, who got the first breakthrough for the team with a carrom ball that would make Ashwin proud. He trapped Colin Munro plumb in front before capping off a tidy over in which he gave away only 2 runs.
Delhi’s new captain Gautam Gambhir led the charge for them with a stroke-filled fifty. His knock was well supported by Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris’ pinch-hitting. However, the ever-dominating KXIP spinners proved too good for Delhi in the end and restricted them to a subpar 166 runs. Mohit Sharma, the pick of the pacers, was especially effective in the death with some accurate wicket-to-wicket bowling.
|Gautam Gambhir scored a bulk of the runs for DD giving them a fighting chance in the match. He scored 55 off 42 balls and anchored the Delhi innings almost till the end.
Rahul started things off in fine style for Kings XI smashing 16 runs off the opening over before going berserk against a hapless Amit Mishra, off whom he plundered 24 runs in a single over. He reached his fifty off just 14 balls, making him the fastest half-centurion in the Indian Premier League.
|Lokesh Rahul came out all guns blazing, stroking 6 fours and 4 sixes en route to the fastest fifty in IPL history. DD had no answers to his big hitting and only a miscued shot brought about his ultimate demise.
Yuvraj Singh and Karun Nair steadied the ship from there and guided almost till the half-way stage of the innings. Yuvraj fell for 12 after trying to accelerate the run rate bringing Killer Miller to the crease.
|It seemed like an even match at the half way stage till Rahul came out all guns blazing and blew the Delhi challenge out of the park. His knock was the defining moment in a match where batsmen dominated proceedings.
Nair joined his Karnataka mate by scoring a half century off 33 deliveries. He brought the target within touching distance giving David Miller and Marcus Stoinis enough time to finish off the chase with 7 balls to spare.
Key Chalda Hai?
Kings XI Punjab finished at the top of the league table after their thumping victory and will carry a lot of momentum when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Friday, April 13.