Kings XI Punjab skipper K L Rahul again hit the right notes and scored a well-paced 63 as KXIP posted a competitive 178/4 after electing to bat in the IPL game against the Chennai Super Kings in Dubai on Sunday, October 4, 2020.
Rahul's knock came off 52 balls, with the help of seven fours and a six. He shared a 61 run stand with fellow opener Mayank Agarwal (26) and then raised a 58 run partnership with Nicholas Pooran.
Having adopted a risk-free approach till then, he completed his half-century with a six off Shardul Thakur and stepped up the momentum.
Pooran too looked for boundaries as KXIP began to accelerate. The West Indian hit three sixes in his short 33-run knock, which ended while looking for another big shot off Thakur. He added 58 runs with Rahul.
KXIP looked set for a bigger total, but Thakur took two wickets in two balls in the 18th over to put the brakes on the innings.
First, he accounted for Pooran, dismissed by a sharp catch by Ravindra Jadeja in the deep; the batsman was unable to find the middle of the bat and perished.
Rahul was then caught behind off the next ball, Mahendra Singh Dhoni taking a brilliant catch, his 100th in the IPL.
'Game over!' Thakur declared after Rahul's wicket.
The dismissals changed the route of the game. While Rahul and Pooran were batting, KXIP looked good for a total in excess of 200.
The Chennai seamers made a good comeback as in the last five overs as KXIP managed only 48 runs for the loss of two wickets.
CSK Openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis then blazed away to help the team end the run of three straight defeats and climb out of the bottom of the IPL table.