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IPL 2020: KL Rahul's KXIP beat RCB by 97 runs, clinch their 2nd biggest victory in IPL

KL Rahuls KXIP beat RCB by 97 runs, clinch their 2nd biggest victory in IPL
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KL Rahul's KXIP beat RCB by 97 runs, clinch their 2nd biggest victory in IPL

Highlights

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) KL Rahul led from the front as they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 97 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Thursday

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) KL Rahul led from the front as they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 97 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Thursday.

It was KXIP's second-biggest victory in the IPL. Virat Kohli-led RCB failed to even match Rahul's score of 132 as they were all out for 109 in 17 overs in Dubai. Coincidently, their biggest win in the tournament had also come against the same opponent, which was back in 2011. Batting first, KXIP had posted 232 for 2, courtesy of then-captain Adam Gilchrist's 55-ball 106. Even nine years back, RCB were bowled out in 17 overs.

Overall, it was KXIP's third-biggest victory after their 120-run win over Northern Districts in the 2014 Champions League Twenty20 in 2014 and 111-run win over RCB in IPL 2011.

Chasing KXIP's target of 207, RCB had an awful start as they lost their previous match's half-centurion Devdutt Padikkal for two-ball one in the opening over of the second innings. Australia's wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe, who walked at No. 3, was dismissed for a three-ball duck in the second over. West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell caught the big fish when he removed Kohli for just one run in the third over, leaving RCB in massive trouble at 4 for 3. Five overs later, Australian captain, Aaron Finch, walked back after scoring 20 off 21 balls. Apart from Finch, only three other RCB players scored in double digits – AB de Villiers (28), Washington Sundar (30), and Shivam Dube (12).

KXIP's spin duo of Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin bagged three wickets each, while the other wicket-takers for Rahul's side were Mohammed Shami (1 for 14), Glenn Maxwell (1 for 10),and Cottrell (2 for 17).

After being asked to bat first, KXIP posted 206 in 20 overs. Rahul, who opened with Mayank Agarwal, remained unbeaten on 132 off 69 balls. His knock that came at a strike-rate of almost 200 included seven sixes and 14 fours. Rahul's first 30 runs came off 23 balls, before scoring the next 30 off 19 balls. Rahul smashed his final 72 runs off just 27 balls. He was dropped twice by RCB captain Kohli when the Karnataka batsman was on 83 and then 89.

En route his second IPL century, Rahul broke several records. He beat former Mumbai Indians (MI) batsman Sachin Tendulkar to become the fastest Indian to 2,000 IPL runs. While Tendulkar reached the landmark in 63 innings, Rahul took fewer innings. His score of unbeaten 132 is also the highest score by an Indian batsman in the IPL now.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Rahul said it is important to lead from the front as a leader. "As a leader, it's important to lead from the front. It's a complete team performance, really happy. I told Maxi that I am not feeling completely in control of my batting, he said you must be joking, you are hitting really well. During the toss is the only time I feel like a captain and otherwise, I balance being a player and the captain. The analyst, coach, and the management will be happy. I watched the U-19 World Cup. He has a lot of fight in him. He's always ready when I throw the ball. He wants to get into the contest," added Rahul, who was also named the Man of the Match.

KXIP, who lost their opening match of IPL 2020 to Delhi Capitals, will next face Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Sunday in Sharjah, while RCB will take on MI on Monday at the same venue in Dubai.

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