IPL : Opener KL Rahul blasted his way to a fastest ever half-century in Indian Premier League as a new look Kings XI Punjab started their campaign on a resounding note defeating Delhi Daredevils by six wickets on Sunday.
Also in IPL, Ravichandran Ashwin marshalled his resources admirably restricting Daredevils to a mediocre 166 for 7 on a placid track. The KXIP captain himself bowled a few leg breaks during his disciplined effort of 1 for 23 in 4 overs.
In IPL,the surprise package was Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb-r Rahman, who finished with 2 for 28 in 4 overs.
Courtesy Rahul, who smashed six boundaries and four sixes in his 16-ball-51, the match as a contest was over within the Powerplay as KXIP raced away to 73 for 2 in six overs.
Karun Nair, who has had a mixed season, then helped himself to a 33-ball-50 as the home team reached the target in 18.5 overs.
Only Yuvraj Singh’s 12 off 22 balls stuck out like a sore thumb as he once again looked a pale shadow of his old self.
The star of the match certainly was Rahul, who started with a top-edged six and a couple of boundaries off Trent Boult.
He also smacked Mohammed Shami over fine-leg for a six in the next over. By the time Amit Mishra was introduced in the third over, he was in a murderous mood.
He hit Mishra for three fours and two sixes as the 24 runs in that over brought up the fastest ever 50 in 11 editions of IPL.
Rahul was out trying to play a slap shot but the pressure was off Kings XI’s(in IPL) back by then as Nair also made merry hitting five fours and two sixes. The sixes — one was hit over long-off and other was a slog sweep over fine leg.
Gambhir’s decision to play Mishra can certainly be questioned as the bowler didn’t look fully fit and has played very little domestic cricket this season. During training sessions, he was very rusty as the 46 runs in 4 overs would indicate.
In IPL, Another leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia (1/24 in 4 overs) mainly bowled wicket to wicket and got lucky dismissing Yuvraj with a half-tracker.
In IPL 2018 Gambhir’s knock was studded with five boundaries and a six and he fell run out in the 15th over dealing a blow to Delhi’s hopes of achieving a big total.
Delhi were restricted by a fine bowling display by Punjab, with 17-year-old spinner Rahman making his IPL debut. Since the youngster was bowling finger spinners.