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Turning Point: Gayle, Pooran onslaught

By LAXMI NEGI
October 21, 2020 07:51 IST
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Chris Gayle

IMAGE: Chris Gayle scored 29 off 13 balls, including 2 sixes and three fours. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Kings XI Punjab was a team being written off a week earlier in this IPL. They suffered narrow defeats after being in winning positions.

However, Coach Anil Kumble and Captain K L Rahul refused to give up. They persisted with the tried and tested and battled on.

On Sunday, KXIP edged past Mumbai Indians in one of the most thrilling finishes in IPL history, clinching victory in the second Super Over after the match and the first Super Over finished in a tie in Dubai.

On Tuesday, October 20, KXIP kept the faith and emerged triumphant again. This time against table toppers Delhi Capitals.

Chasing 165, Nicholas Pooran smashed a 28-ball 53 as Glenn Maxwell and Chris Gayle played useful knocks as KXIP completed a hat-trick of victories in IPL 2020, winning by five wickets.

Delhi Skipper Shreyas Iyer missed out on match-ups for this fame. Ravichandran Ashwin is Delhi's best weapon against Gayle, and yet the off-spinner was brought in late.

Ashwin had dismissed Universe Boss four times previously, but with Gayle new to the wicket, Iyer brought on Tushar Deshpande ahead of Ashwin. Deshpande went for 26 runs in that over.

Gayle was dismissed by Ashwin and Mayank Agarwal was run out in the same over as Delhi Capitals came storming back, but by then, UB had done the damage, scoring 29 off 13 balls, including 2 sixes and three fours.

Nicholas Pooran

IMAGE: West Indians Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran had done enough before Glenn Maxwell did his bit to ensure victory. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

And just when Delhi had effected a double strike, they went back to Deshpande. This time Pooran stuck in and the 25-year-old bowler had no respite as he gave away 15 runs.

Pooran hit three sixes and six boundaries in his knock as KXIP scored 167 for five in 19 overs to notch up anoher victory that revives their IPL 2020 campaign from the dead.

Their coming games are against teams in the lower half of the points table and Kumble and Rahul may fancy the chances of making the play-offs.

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