Chris Gayle and KL Rahul: The Universe Boss and the captain of Kings XI Punjab joined hands to stitch a match-winning partnership.

During the 31st match of the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah, Kings XI Punjab beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 wickets to register their second victory this season.

Chasing a 172-run target, Kings XI thrived on the back of a 78-run opening partnership between captain Lokesh Rahul and batsman Mayank Agarwal (45). With their batting doing well on most occasions this season, the inclusion of veteran batsman Chris Gayle further aided them.

Having scored 56 runs in the powerplay without losing a wicket, Kings XI went on to score 84/1 at the halfway mark despite losing Agarwal. In clear vicinity of the required run rate, Gayle taking his time initially didn’t hamper their chances.

What also worked for Kings XI was Rahul adopting the attacking role in the second half of the innings. In was in the 12th over that the right-hand batsman hit a couple of gargantuan sixes off Royal Challengers pacer Mohammed Siraj to up the ante.

With Gayle also joining the party in the next over via two sixes off Bangalore all-rounder Washington Sundar, the 41-year old had given hints of finding his mojo.

Despite a couple of economical overs from Chris Morris and Navdeep Saini, KXIP were unperturbed as the pair accumulated 20 runs off the next over. However, Punjab ended up giving signs of choking yet again by taking the chase to the last ball despite needing seven runs in the last two overs.

Eventually, it was Punjab batsman Nicholas Pooran who hit a last-ball six to seal the chase. While Rahul remained unbeaten on 61* (49) with the help of one four and five sixes, Gayle played exceedingly well for his 53 (45) including a four and five sixes.

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