Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul struck the first century of Indian Premier League 2020 on Thursday against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Rahul hammered an unbeaten 132 in 69 balls to help his side to a mammoth total of 206/3 in 20 overs.
Virat Kohli-led RCB struggled in the chase and were bundled out for 109 in just 17 overs, losing the match by 97 runs. It was RCB’s first defeat of the season, and Rahul’s contribution made all the difference.
The Punjab skipper was given the man of the match award for his performance. Rahul’s performance invited huge praise from former West Indies cricketer Ian Bishop and former India opener Gautam Gambhir.
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West Indies legend 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 accelerate towards the end, having batting that deep in the innings, I think it makes him a complete batsman,” he added.
Gambhir added: “This was a proper inning. Not even a single slog in the innings to be honest. That is what the quality of the man is. He can hit those cricketing shots and with that much of impact and that much strike rate, he shows what he is capable of.
“I have to agree with Ian Bishop that in IPL, he is probably the no. 1 player at the moment,” he further said.
Kings XI Punjab will next face off against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.