Mumbai: KL Rahul’s calm and composed knock, aided by Deepak Hooda’s belligerent hitting, helped Punjab Kings set a 222-run target for Rajasthan Royals in game four of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Monday evening at the Wankhede.
Rahul scored 91 runs off just 50 balls while Hooda set the Wankhede on fire with his 64-run knock from just 28 deliveries with the help of 4 fours and 6 sixes as Punjab posted 221/6 in their allotted 20 overs. Chris Gayle also chipped in with a valuable 40.
Put into bat, Punjab didn’t have a great start as they lost Mayank Agarwal in the third over of the innings. Left-armer Chetan Sakariya, who was playing his first match for the Royals, dismissed Agarwal at his individual score of 14. Gayle then joined Rahul in the middle and the duo kept on ticking the scoreboard steadily and Punjab’s score read 46/1 after the end of the powerplay.
Gayle changed his gears with the introduction of the spinners in the bowling attack. However, Riyan Parag cut short Gayle’s (40) innings as he had the left-handed batsman caught at the hands of Ben Stokes at long-on, reducing Punjab to 89/2. Hooda was sent ahead of Nicholas Pooran at number four and the right-hander justified the call as he dispatched RR spinners to all parts of the ground.
Hooda and Rahul continued with their carnage in the death overs and Rajasthan bowlers were left searching for answers. In the 18th over, Hooda (64) was finally sent back to the pavilion by Chris Morris and this brought an end to the 105-run stand between Hooda and Rahul.
In the final two overs, Rahul added crucial runs to the total and was supported by Shahrukh Khan at the other end. However, Sakariya bowled a tight last over as he conceded just five runs while taking two wickets as Punjab went past the 220-run mark.
Punjab Kings 221/6 (KL Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64, Chetan Sakariya 3-31) vs Rajasthan Royals.