Kings XI Punjab crushed Delhi Daredevils by six wickets to win their opening encounter of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 season on Sunday. In pursuit of 167 runs, KXIP chased down the target at ease after a superb batting performance. KL Rahul was the chief architect of the chase as he smashed his way with the fastest fifty in the IPL history. His 14-ball fifty came in the third over itself as fans in Mohali were blown away by ‘Rahul-storm’. That would have made even Chris Gayle proud, who witnessed the innings from the dugout.
Fastest 50 in the history of VIVO #IPL
Take a bow @klrahul11 #KXIPvDD pic.twitter.com/G7zFGXw8vY
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 8, 2018
Gautam Gambhir had earlier scored a 42-ball 55 to help his side reach a decent score of 166/7. Chris Morris (27*) provided a flurry in the end to help DD get some momentum.
Here we look at the impact player, powerful performer and key moment of the game.
Impact Player of the day: KL Rahul
The wicket-keeper batsman thrived in the opening role and scored a whirlwind fifty atop. He decimated Trent Boult in the first over hitting him for two fours and a maximum to set the chase. He did not spare Mohammed Shami either and belted him for two boundaries.
At 27 off just nine balls, Rahul turned the gear once Amit Mishra came in. He smashed him for 24 runs to notch the fastest IPL fifty. Half-volleys, tossed up deliveries and short balls were all dispatched to the boundary leaving DD skipper Gautam Gambhir a frustrated figure. Rahul showed why he is a celebrated T20 player and a dangerous customer.
His 24 runs in that Mishra over makes him our impact player of the day.
Fastest fifties in IPL
- KL Rahul (KXIP): Balls 14 against Delhi Daredevils
- Sunil Narine (KKR): Balls 15 against Royal Challengers Bangalore
- Yusuf Pathan (KKR): Balls 15 against Sunrisers Hyderabad
- Suresh Raina (CSK): Balls 16 against Kings XI Punjab
Powerful Performer of the day: Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Afghanistan had given IPL a solid player in Rashid Khan and now fans should have a keen interest in latest sensation Mujeeb. The 17-year-old became the youngest player to play in the IPL history when he took the field for the Kings XI.
And Mujeeb was electric from the start. He picked two wickets giving away just 28 runs in four overs. Credit to R Ashwin for trusting the young prodigy and he did not disappoint his captain. Mujeeb got the dangerous Colin Munro (4) upfront after trapping him LBW.
And just when Rishabh Pant joined hands with Gautam Gambhir to pave way for a defining partnership, Mujeeb was called upon in the 14th over. He dismissed Pant (28), who was already looking dangerous hitting four fours and a six. The ball spun across Pant and all he managed to do was slice it high towards extra cover. Andrew Tye pulled off a blinder.
Mujeeb’s run-out of Gambhir along with these two wickets makes him our Powerful Performer of the day.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman …. 17 yrs old …. from Afghanistan …. 2-28 on his #IPL2018 debut ….. Fantastic to watch ….
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 8, 2018
Key moment of the day
Gambhir’s run-out dismissal is our pick as the key moment of the day. Everybody knows the importance of direct throws in cricket, and well that just happened to the DD skipper as he departed for 55 runs. Rahul Tewatia scrapped for a single after failing to send an Andrew Tye leg-pitched ball to the boundary with the fielder inside the ring.
Mujeeb was quick to attack the ball and in a flash he sent it to the keeper’s end. Gambhir looking to get to the other end fell short of the crease as the ball lodged the stumps. The southpaw was dismissed in the final ball of the 15th over. He was batting superbly until then. And with another five overs left, one could have seen Delhi reach past 180 runs.
But the Afghan’s brilliance did not allow that to happen and that is our key moment of the day.