Kings XI Punjab started off their IPL campaign in style as they registered a comfortable 6-wicket win against Delhi Daredevils in Mohali yesterday. After being set a target of 167, K.L. Rahul got Punjab to a blistering start as he smashed fastest fifty in IPL history, in just 14 balls. When Rahul was batting Punjab was cruising at 52/0 in three overs, with the other opener—Mayank Agarwal batting at 2. The right-hander eventually got out at 51 after hitting six fours and four sixes.
But after Rahul’s departure, Punjab lost its way somewhat, as they lost one more wicket quickly, and their run-rate dropped drastically. Yuvraj Singh, who came in at no. 3, couldn’t really produce the desired performance as he could only score 12 runs from 22 balls. After Yuvraj’s departure, Karun Nair (50) and David Miller (24) did the damage control and took the team to a safe position. Nair started slowly, but picked up his scoring rate once he got his eye in. The match was finished well by Marcus Stoinis who smacked 22 runs from 15 balls.
Earlier in the day, after choosing to bowl first, Kings XI Punjab did well to restrict Delhi to just 166 runs in their allotted 20 overs. It was due to skipper Gambhir’s 42-ball 55, that Delhi could post that kind of total.
As far as Punjab’s bowling is concerned, the match marked a dream debut for Afghanistan youngster Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The 17-year-old, who became the youngest cricketer ever to play in the IPL, returned with figures of 2/28 in his four overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin, in his first match as skipper did well and bagged one wicket conceding 23 runs only.
Scores: DD 166 for 7 in 20 overs (Gautham Gambir 55, Rishabh Pant 28, Chris Morris (27), Mohit Sharma 2 for 33, Majeeb Ur Rahman 2 for 28 lost to KXIP 167 for 4 in 18.5 overs (K. L. Rahul 51, Karun Nair 50, David Miller 24, Marcus Stoinis 22).