KL Rahul leads from the front as Kings XI Punjab crush Royal Challengers Bangalore by 97 runs

Dubai played host to Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore for match number 6 of IPL 2020. Both teams were sporting black armbands as tributes following the untimely death of former Australian cricketer and commentator Dean Jones from a massive cardiac arrest earlier in the day. 59-year-old Jones was in Mumbai for IPL commentary when he suddenly collapsed around noon IST and passed away. 

RCB skipper Virat Kohli called the right side of the coin and decided to put Punjab in to bat first. 

KXIP openers Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul looked untroubled by the Bangalore bowlers as the pair raced to 50 for no loss in six overs. 

Virat had to turn to the man who was a hero for RCB in the previous match - Yuzvendra Chahal - to try and break this partnership. And Chahal delivered. 

Agarwal’s innings of 26 off 20 balls came to an end as Chahal bowled him with a quicker wrong 'un.

Between Chahal and Washington Sundar, the brakes were applied to Punjab’s run scoring especially with new batsman Nicholas Pooran unable to get the duo away. 

Pooran eventually fell to Shivam Dube for 17 off 18 balls. And a couple of overs later, Dube had also sent back Glenn Maxwell. 

However, the fireworks and action were all happening at the other end of the crease where Rahul was lighting up the stadium with a batting display to delight. 

He smashed his first fifty off 36 balls and the second fifty even faster off just 26 balls to reach his first ever IPL 100. 

He was helped along the way by two dropped catches - in the 17th and 18th overs - when his captaincy counterpart, and usually a very safe pair of hands, Virat Kohli failed to hold on to the ball. The missed chances meant that Rahul went after Dale Steyn and Dube at the death, scoring 42 off 9 balls. Kings XI in fact smashed 74 runs in the last four overs.

Rahul remained not out on 132 off 69 balls - the highest score by an Indian in the IPL and fourth highest overall - as Kings XI Punjab put on a big score of 206/3. 

RCB’s run chase was off to a bad start right from the word go. Devdutt Padikkal, who looked fluent in the previous match, was dismissed in the very first over by Sheldon Cottrell to leave RCB at 2/1. 

The very next over saw a promoted up the order Josh Philippe LBW to Mohammed Shami. And when Cottrell removed the big fish Kohli for just 1 run in the over after, RCB were reeling at 4/3 after 2.4 overs. 

Aaron Finch and AB de Villiers at one point looked like they might just get back some control over the match, but Ravi Bishnoi put an end to those plans, dismissing Finch for 20 off 21 balls in the eight over. 

De Villiers fell in the ninth - Murugan Ashwin forcing him to hand a catch to sweeper cover - for 28 of 18 balls. 

The RCB batting scorecard was a sorry sight with Sundar the only other batsman to have crossed 15. 

Ashwin and Bishnoi finished with 3 wickets each as Bangalore collapsed to 109 all out in 17 overs. 

Virat Kohli also became the first captain in IPL 2020 to be fined for a slow over-rate. He was fined INR 12 lakh as it was his team's first offence of the season as per the IPL's code of conduct.

KL Rahul was named Man of the Match for his century. 

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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