Dubai: Captain KL Rahul on Thursday shattered a few IPL records with a blistering 69-ball 132 not out – the highest individual score by an Indian in the league – that helped Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) crush Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 97 runs here on Thursday night.
During his knock, Rahul also crossed the 2,000-run mark and helped his team to 206/3 in 20 overs. In reply, the Virat Kohli-led RCB capitulated and were all out for 109 in just 17 overs, thanks to some clinical bowling by KXIP at the Dubai International Cricket stadium.
RCB was outclassed by their opponents in every department of the game as after Rahul`s blitzkrieg, the Punjab bowlers too rose to the occasion, with Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Ashwin scalping three wickets each and Sheldon Cottrell bagging two. Mohammed Shami and Glenn Maxwell took one wicket each.
Chasing a massive 207-run target, RCB batters never looked in control and Kohli-led side suffered a bating collapse, thanks to a discipline effort by Punjab bowlers.
It was only Aaron Finch (20), AB de Villers (28), Washington Sundar (30) and Shivam Dube (12) who were able to touch the double-digit mark as the rest of them failed severely.
Earlier, Rahul`s whirlwind knock contained 14 boundaries and seven hits into the stands. It was Rahul`s second IPL century and fourth overall in T20s. It was also the highest score by any Indian in the IPL as the KXIP captain surpassed the previous record of unbeaten 128 by Rishabh Pant.
Put into bat, Rahul and his opening partner Mayank Agarwal (26) handed an ideal start to their team as KXIP were 50 for no loss in the initial six overs.
Just in the seventh over, Yuzvendra Chahal came up with a breakthrough by dismissing Mayank Agarwal, who failed to the read the googly and the ball castled the wicket.
Rahul, however, kept the fight on as his side was 90/1 in 10 overs and received able support from Nicholas Pooran (17). Shivam Dube dismissed Pooran in the 14th over. However, it hardly affected Rahul, who was in a murderous mood tonight.
The KXIP notched up his ton in 62 balls, thanks to his RCB counterpart Kohli, who dropped Rahul twice — at 83 and 90.
In the penultimate over, Rahul smoked lethal South African pacer Dale Steyn for 26 runs and remained unbeaten.