In the IPL 2020 match played in Dubai on 24 September, Kings XI Punjab defeated Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kings XI Punjab, who were invited to bat first, managed to score a huge score of 206 for three wickets.
Captain Lokesh Rahul scored an unbeaten 132 off 69 balls, which is also the highest score of his career. Rahul hit 14 fours and seven sixes in his innings.
In reply to Punjab’s 206 runs, RCB’s top order faltered and their team collapsed for 109 runs in 17 overs. Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered a 97-run defeat. Learning from coach Anil Kumble, both Kings XI leg-spinners Murugan Ashwin (3 for 21) and Ravi Bishnoi (3 for 32) impressed, while Sheldon Cottrell (2 for 17) shrugged off the top order.
The unbeaten 132 runs off Rahul’s bat is the highest personal score ever made by an Indian in any match of the IPL tournament. Also, as the captain of any IPL team, this is the highest score of this league. Despite the absence of Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran, throughout his innings, Rahul showed tremendous batting and smashed long shots around the field. Not only this, but he also changed his style of batting when and where he got a chance.
Following his sensation ton, former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop, on ESPNCricinfo’s T20 Timeout show, said,
“The way he balanced his innings was great. I was sitting there watching those first 50 runs, and outside of the powerplay I was thinking ‘geez, he is just settling there, not anchor it, but looking to balance it’. And I think he did that beautifully. Forget the chances, the way he accelerated towards the end, having batting that deep in the innings, I think it makes him a complete batsman,” he added.
Former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir also agreed with Bishop.
“I have to agree with Ian Bishop that in IPL, he is probably the no. 1 player at the moment,” said Gambhir.
Rahul will try his best to maintain his form in the upcoming matches.
After defeating RCB, KXIP will now lock horns with Steve Smith-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Sunday (September 27).