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Top Performers: Openers set up Punjab victory

April 24, 2021 07:17 IST

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul set up a 53-run opening wicket stand 

IMAGE: Mayank Agarwal and K L Rahul set up a 53-run opening wicket stand. Photograph: BCCI

Chasing 132 for victory on a slow Chepauk track, it was imperative for Punjab Kings to get to a good start if they had to get back to winning ways after three losses.

And that is exactly how Openers K L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal executed their plans.

It looked like Punjab were batting on a different wicket from the one Mumbai Indians played because of the contrasting ways they went about their business.

Rahul and Agarwal gave Punjab a rollicking start, smashing Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal Pandya for big runs early in the innings.

Rahul's timing and Agarwal's strokeplay saw Punjab get to 45 off just the first six overs.

Agarwal got some runs off Krunal in the next over before he was dismissed by Rahul Chahar for 25 off 20 balls.

That 53-run partnership laid the foundation for the win. Not once did Rahul take his foot off the pedal and even though Chris Gayle, who scored 43 not out off 35 balls, took a few overs to get going, Rahul ensured the singles were taken.

Rahul kept his composure at one end while Gayle struggled early in his innings and his presence till the end was much needed for Punjab.

Rahul got to his fifty off a single in the 17th over, before scoring the winning runs with a six and a four to log a 9-wicket win over Mumbai.