Lokesh Rahul smashed the fastest IPL half-century to set the foundation for the Kings XI Punjab’s six-wicket victory over the Delhi Daredevils on Sunday.
Chandigarh hosted the clash between two sides who have yet to win an IPL. Both sides have pressed the reset button. The Delhi Daredevils signed last season’s experienced Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir and Kings XI Punjab replaced Glenn Maxwell with Ravichandran Ashwin in his first stint as captain.
After being put in to bat by the hosts, the Delhi Daredevils had a stuttering innings. Gambhir held the Daredevils’ innings together with his 36th half-century in the IPL, equalling David Warner for the most 50s in the competition.
The Daredevils’ new skipper needed a decent partnership after losing three partners by the 10th over. Rishabh Pant provided the ammunition needed to boost the visitors from 77-3 to 111-3 before he lost his scalp after contributing 28 off 13 balls.
Gambhir lost his wicket, after stringing together a 42-ball 54 as DD were reduced to 123-5, followed by Rahul Tewatia for nine.
Chris Morris (27* off 16 balls) and Daniel Christian (13 off 13 balls) contributed 41 off 28 balls to take the visitors to sub-par 166-7.
The Kings’ chase was conducted by Rahul (51 off 16). He slaughtered the opposition to reach the fastest IPL 50 in just 14 balls (six fours and four sixes). He smashed Amit Mishra for 24 runs in the third over as they raced past the 50-run mark in just three overs. His destruction was ended by Trent Boult in the fifth over shortly after Mayank Agarwal (7) lost his scalp to Morris.
Yuvraj Singh struggled to take advantage of the good foundation and lost his wicket on 12 with KXIP on 97-2.
Karun added 50 from 33 balls (5×4, 2×6) to take the hosts to 138-3 but lost his scalp attempting to pull Christian over midwicket only to find Boult.
It was David Miller and Marcus Stonis who took the hosts home. Miller scored 24 (23 balls) and Stonis 22 off 15 to seal a six-wicket victory.