Chris Gayle and KL Rahul lead Kings XI Punjab to last ball victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore | Cricket News

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Kings XI’s Chris Gayle turns 50 in IPL v RCB clash

Chris Gayle hit 53 of 45 balls in his first shot since January as the Kings XI Punjab clinched an eight-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in a last-shot thriller in the IPL.

Scorecard

Gayle made an instant impression on his return to T20 with five sixes, giving a formidable foil to skipper KL Rahul (61no), whose 20th IPL fifty had 37 balls.

The pair shared a second 93-point stand after Mayank Agarwal hit 45 balls on 25, to help steer the Kings XI towards their goal of 172 victory.

But the franchise did not complete its second win of the campaign until after a late drama; with two points needed at the end of the final, Yuzvendra Chahal conceded just one point out of four balls before Gayle was exhausted in pursuit of a quick single.

With a run needed for the final delivery, Nicholas Pooran held his cool to hit six on the ground – just about clearing the defender off the rope in the process.

Kings XI remain at the bottom of the table but with four points and Gayle back after a bout of illness, their play-off hopes are not entirely over.

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Watch how Chris Gayle returned to T20 action with a play-off of six in Kings XI Punjab’s eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Watch how Chris Gayle returned to T20 action with a play-off of six in Kings XI Punjab’s eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

RCB entered the game with five wins in seven matches and got the upper hand early on after Virat Kohli won the draw and opted to strike first in his 200th IPL appearance.

The skipper skimmed his second ball through the covers for four after RCB lost a wicket on the power play at batting for the first time in the tournament – Devdutt Padikkal (18 of 12) pushing Arshdeep Singh to extra cover.

First opener Aaron Finch (20) nearly saw the first six overs before being played by Murugan Ashwin’s third delivery as he replayed a faster ball.

RCB jumped off a surprise as Washington Sundar came out four ahead of AB de Villiers, who two days ago had a spectacular 77 on 33 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders.

The South African also did not appear at five as another southpaw Shivam Dube appeared once Sundar was taken well in the depths by Chris Jordan off Ashwin.

With the score 103-3 on 14 overs, RCB had to increase the bet and Dube hit the accelerator to hit a straight six against Ravi Bishnoi only to misinterpret a short ball to give Jordan his first scalp of the tournament.

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By the time De Villiers walked to the wicket there were only four overs left – the score 127-4 – and he had no choice but to go hard right away.

The South African adventure proved to be short-lived as he sliced ​​Mohammad Shami to extra cover to fall for two out of five bales and two deliveries later Kohli left in sight of his fifty, the skipper tricked by Shami’s slower ball bouncer who took the glove and deflected behind at KL Rahul.

Shami’s numbers at this point were 2-21, but were tarnished somewhat in the final as Chris Morris (25 without eight balls) finished the innings with a straight six – 34 points after the last two passes.

Kings XI’s decision to keep the faith with Rahul and Agarwal at the top of the order before Gayle paid off as the pair slapped 33 points on the first four passes – Agarwal helped themselves to 14 points on four balls from the spinner Chahal, including a lavish six longer.

Not to be outdone, Rahul swung Navdeep Saini over the midwicket for a second maximum on his own and six more lifted the fifty offside 5.5 overs – Agarwal pumping Isuru Udana’s slower ball for a long time.

Kings XI Punjab skipper celebrates 50 years for fifth time in this year's IPL

Kings XI Punjab skipper celebrates 50 years for fifth time in this year’s IPL

The pair improved their position to 78 before Agarwal crossed the line and was beaten by Chahal, from which point RCB tightened the screw.

Gayle was generally alert early in his heats, with more than a little rusty timing, as Saini and Sundar in particular tightened – RCB 84-1 at the halfway point.

Rahul’s response was to hit a six successive Mohammed Siraj and Gayle followed by hitting his first limit on his 16th ball and his second maximum three deliveries later.

But afterward, Gayle and Rahul took center stage with an impressive range of strikes – Gayle helping himself to a six-brace in two Sundar overs to put the victory within reach.

Closing the game seemed like a formality only for Chahal to serve a late twist before Kings XI coach Anil Kumble, dying on the sidelines, could finally celebrate.

Our live coverage of the Indian Premier League continues on Friday when Mumbai takes on Kolkata from 2:50 p.m. on Sky Sports Cricket.

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