IPL 2020, KXIP vs RCB: With 132*, Rahul beats Tendulkar, Pant, Warner in various records
KL Rahul broke a Sachin Tendulkar record during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 match between Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday.
After being asked to bat, Rahul opened KXIP's innings with his fellow Karnataka batsman Mayank Agarwal. The two took KXIP to 50 at the end of the powerplay before the latter was dismissed for 20-ball 26 in the seventh over by RCB spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
Rahul, who scored his second IPL century on Wednesday, also reached 2,000 runs in the tournament. By clinching the milestone in 60 innings, Rahul overtook Tendulkar, who had scored his first 2,000 IPL runs in 63 innings. Overall, Rahul is just behind KXIP's Chris Gayle and Australian batsman Shaun Marsh who had touched the 2,000-mark in the IPL in 48 and 52 innings respectively.
As KXIP posted 206 for 3 in the first innings, Rahul remained unbeaten on 132 off 69 deliveries – which was the highest score by a captain in the IPL. Next captains on the list are Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper David Warner (126), former KXIP captain Virender Sehwag (119), and RCB captain Virat Kohli (113, 109, and 108).
Rahul also now holds the record for the highest score by an Indian batsman in the IPL ahead of Delhi Capitals' Rishabh Pant (128*), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Murali Vijay (127), former KXIP opener Sehwag (122), and Paul Valthaty (120*), who also scored for KXIP in 2011. Rahul is also the only third player to have scored an IPL century as both captain and non-captain, the other two being Warner and Sehwag.
Rahul, who averages close to 45 in the Indian T20 league, received two lives when he was in his 80s and it was RCB captain Kohli, who is considered to be one of the best fielders of the current era, who dropped the catch on both the occasions. When Rahul was on 83, in the 17th over bowled by Dale Steyn, Kohli dropped his fellow Indian's catch down in the deep. In the next over, Rahul was catching pace, had struck two back-to-back boundaries off Navdeep Saini's bowling, and was 11 runs away from the three-digit score.
The KXIP skipper tried to end the final ball of the 18th over with a six, but could not strike it well. The ball flew to the long-off and it was an easier catch than the previous one, but Kohli failed to catch it.
Rahul, who made his T20I debut in 2016, has evolved as one of the best across all the countries. While Kohli is yet to hit a T20I century, Rahul has two to his name. The list of most number of T20I centuries is topped by Indian opener Rohit Sharma (4) ahead of Australia's explosive batsman Glenn Maxwell and New Zealand's Colin Munro, who are joint-second having scored three centuries each.
Earlier in IPL 2020, RCB kickstarted their tournament with a win over SRH, while KXIP lost their first match to Delhi Capitals.