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UAE | Oct 16, 2020

Chris Gayle, KL Rahul lead thrilling Punjab win in IPL

/ Our Today

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Slamming one of his five sixes Thursday night, Kings XI Punjab talisman Chris Gayle was in fine form during their must-win match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2020 Indian Premier League. Punjab won by eight wickets, on the last ball of the 20th over. (Photo: Twitter @LionsDenKXIP)

Chris Gayle returned with a vengeance with the bat in his first game of the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), as he as the ailing Kings XI Punjab to an emphatic eight-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday night (October 15).

The powerful Jamaican batsman slammed a four and five sixes in a commanding innings of 53 runs from 45 balls, as he played in a rare but effective second wicket, 93-run partnership with captain KL Rahul.

Gayle, who expressed he felt ‘no pressure at all’ heading into the match, was just shy of ending the match unbeaten but was run out on the penultimate ball of the 20th over, with a run left to win.

The deciding blow would come from fellow West Indian, Nicholas Pooran, who hit a six to capture Punjab’s second win in eight games. The high-riding effort is a temporary celebration as Gayle’s Kings XI Punjab sit at the bottom of the eight-team table with four points.

Punjab skipper KL Rahul ended the match unbeaten on 61, while fellow opener Mayank Agarwal contributed 45 as the team ended on 177/2.

RCB’s earlier stand of 171/6 seemed defensible, shored up by Virat Kohli’s 48 from 39 balls, and a quick but solid 25 from eight ball contribution from Chris Morris.

In a pre-game speech, the self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’, fully recovered from his bout with the stomach flu days prior, said he was relieved to be back on the field and even happier for his fans.

After the match, Gayle said it was great to finally get some match action, and the outing was even sweeter since his team got an important win.

“It was a good innings, my first in the IPL this year,” he said. “Now I can finish with the IPL for 2020 and make myself available for 2021, and I can get out of the bubble now and go home.”

With his latest half-century, Gayle now surpasses 4,500 runs in his impressive IPL career.

Kings XI Punjab takes on defending champions Mumbai Indians on Sunday, October 18 needing another win to keep the IPL dreams alive. The two teams previously met on Thursday, October 1 where the Indians secured a 48-run win.

 

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