A century by KL Rahul helped Kings XI Punjab to a dominant victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore by a margin of 97 runs in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Rahul scored a stunning 132 off 69 balls to steer KXIP to an imposing score of 206-3. RCB's famed batting collapsed to 4-3 in the third over with Devdutt Padikkal, Josh Philippe and Virat Kohli dismissed in quick succession. A 49-run fourth wicket stand between Aaron Finch and AB de Villiers was broken by the youngster Ravi Bishnoi when he had Finch out bowled for 20. AB de Villiers followed him in the next over leaving RCB reeling at 57-5. Sheldon Cottrell picked up two wickets for KXIP including the prized scalp of Virat Kohli. Ravi Bishnoi and M Ashwin picked up three wickets each as RCB were bundled out for 109.
Earlier, KL Rahul took advantage of two dropped catches by Kohli to score a fine century, studded with 14 fours and 7 sixes. Rahul smashed Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav all over the park with the pair conceding 92 runs in just seven overs. KXIP scored 60 runs in the last three overs of the innings to take the score past 200 and Rahul carried his bat through the innings scoring 132, the highest individual score by a captain as well as by an Indian in the IPL.
The involvement of Karnataka players for KXIP was a subject of discussion before the game. Alongside Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair in the KXIP team hail from Karnataka while Krishnappa Gowtham and J Suchit were on the bench. The team also has Karnataka's legendary spinner Anil Kumble as coach. It was the Karnataka players in KXIP who went home smiling on the day.
The match was held in Dubai against the backdrop of news of the shocking death of commentator Dean Jones. The former Australian cricketer died of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Thursday and players on both sides sported black armbands in his honour.