IPL 2020: All Eyes on Gayle as RCB Set KXIP 172 Target at Sharjah

RCB smashed 24 runs in the last over to finish at 171 after a middle order batting collapse that saw RCB at 137/6.

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IPL
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Mohammad Shami celebrates the wicket of RCB skipper Virat Kohli.
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The player with most sixes in IPL history has finally made his debut on a ground that has seen the most sixes this IPL. Kings XI Punjab will surely be looking to Chris Gayle’s big hits to achieve the target of 172 set by the Royals Challengers Bangalore at Sharjah on Thursday, 15 October.

Having won the toss captain Kohli decided to bat first. RCB raced to 57/1 in their powerplay but managed 40 in the next seven overs as Punjab’s spinners took over.

Kings XI Punjab’s only win of the season has come against Royal Challengers Bangalore and they’ll be counting on Gayle and their top order to get their much needed two points.

While Kohli was the highest scorer with a patient 48, some last over fireworks saw RCB climb back from a middle order collapse to set a fighting total.

RCB SUFFER LATE BATTING COLLAPSE

RCB were 127/3 at the 15.5 over mark but suddenly found themselves at 137/6 at the end of 18 overs. Losing three vital wickets of Shivam Dube, De Villiers, and Kohli in a span of two overs dented Bangalore’s chances of a big total.

Shami, who came back in the 18th over, wreaked havoc for RCB as he sent both De VIilliers and Kohli back just two deliveries apart.

RCB’s innings was salvaged in the final over as Chris Morris and Isuru Udana smashed 24 runs off Shami to get their team to 171.

IPL 2020: All Eyes on Gayle as RCB Set KXIP 172 Target at Sharjah
(Photo: BCCI)

CHRIS GAYLE IS FINALLY PLAYING

The biggest question of IPL 2020 was finally answered on Thursday as Christopher Henry Gayle finally made it to the starting XI for Punjab. Where better to make a debut than in Sharjah where sixes have flowed like water and who better to make your debut against other than your old team Bangalore.

Punjab will surely be looking to Gayle to provide stability to the top order beyond KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. The only question that remains to be answered is whether Punjab will continue with their settled opening pair of Rahul-Agarwal or shake things up be letting Chris “universe boss” Gayle open the innings.

IPL 2020: All Eyes on Gayle as RCB Set KXIP 172 Target at Sharjah
(Photo: BCCI)

SPINNERS SHINE FOR KXIP

In an uncommon move at Sharjah, it wasn’t a pacer like Mohammad Shami but off-spinner Glenn Maxwell who opened the bowling for KXIP. Spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin joined sixth over onwards as Punjab’s spin-trio bowled uninterrupted for eight overs from the sixth to thirteenth over.

This proved to be a smart move by captain KL Rahul as Virat Kohli looked cautious against leg spinners Bishnoi and Ashwin. While RCB scored 57/1 in their first six overs, they managed only 70 runs in their next ten overs at a run rate of 7 per over.

M. Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for KXIP with figures of 23/2 in his four overs. Maxwell proved handy as well, giving away only 28 runs. It was the pressure built by the spinners that led to a late collapse in the RCB team.

IPL 2020: All Eyes on Gayle as RCB Set KXIP 172 Target at Sharjah
(Photo: BCCI)

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