KL Rahul's scintillating half-century guided the Punjab Kings to a five-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in a thrilling encounter at the Dubai International Stadium. In this high-voltage clash, the skipper anchored the innings with a match-defining 67 off 55 deliveries to get his side over the line and pick up two points.
After being put into bat first, the Kolkata were powered to 165 for the loss of seven wickets in their quota of 20 overs, courtesy of a sublime half-century (67 off 49) from Venkatesh Iyer. The southpaw has been one of the standout performers for the Knights in the second phase of the Indian Premier League. With valuable contributions from Rahul Tripathi (34) and Nitish Rana (31), the team managed to post 165/7 in the first innings.
However, an opening partnership of 70 between Mayank Agarwal and Rahul laid a solid foundation for the run chase before Agarwal was undone by Varun Chakaravarthy for a quick-fire 27-ball 40. The runs dried up as Kolkata’s spin twins put a strangle hold in the middle overs. But, it was the cameo of a nine-ball 22 from Shahrukh Khan that made the difference. With five required of the last over it was Match number 32 (vs Rajasthan Royals) written all over it. A single of the first ball, followed by a wicket in the second with four runs required. In the end, it was Kolkata’s third drop and Rahul Tripathi’s second of the match that fetched Punjab a win. Here are some of the notable stats from the game.
Venkatesh lights up IPL 2021
One of the significant reasons for the success of the Kolkata in the second phase of the IPL has been the inclusion of Venkatesh Iyer in the playing XI. The southpaw has been in phenomenal touch ever since he made his debut for Kolkata. After scoring a half-century (53) in his second game against the formidable Mumbai Indians, Iyer followed it up with consistent performances in the subsequent games. In the five matches, the southpaw amassed 193 runs, which is the joint-highest for a Kolkata batsman alongside Jacques Kallis in the first five games. However, he achieved this feat with a strike rate of 141.9 compared to 118.8 from Kallis.
Century of losses for KolkataA five-wicket loss to Punjab at the Dubai International Stadium resulted in the Kolkata slumping to their 100th defeat in the tournament. In 204 games, the boys in Purple and Gold are the fourth team to suffer 100 defeats in IPL, including the losses in super-over. Delhi Capitals and Punjab are on top of the list with 109 losses. Delhi have played 205 matches and Punjab have played 202 including today. Royal Challengers Bangalore are third in the list with 105 losses in 207 matches.
Season to forget for Morgan The skipper of the Kolkata has endured a horrific run with the bat in this edition of the league. Barring his unbeaten knock of 47 against the same opposition, Morgan has struggled to get going in the tournament. In the 11 innings, he has scored 109 runs at an average of 10.9, which is the second-worst by any batsmen in the top seven with a minimum of ten innings played in a season of IPL. Deepak Hooda, plying his trade for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016, is on top of the list with 144 runs in 15 innings at an average of 10.3.
Century of hits over the fence for Rahul
The skipper of the Punjab outfit, KL Rahul, led from the front with a match-winning 67 to help his side with a vital win and move to number five in the points table. En-route to this masterclass, Rahul became the first player for Punjab to smash 100 sixes in the IPL. One of the mainstays in the batting unit of the Punjab, Rahul achieved this milestone in his 53 innings. The universe boss, Chris Gayle is second in the list with 92 sixes in 41 matches for the franchise.