After a good bowling performance against an experimental batting order from RCB, Kings XI got off to another good start with their openers. Chirs Gayle came in for his first game of the season and found himself in quicksand for the early part of the innings. But he ended up hitting five sixes and those are the shots that turn him into the star that he is.
Chasing the RCB total of 171/6, KXIP in-form openers skipper KL Rahul (61 not out from 49 balls) and Mayank Agarwal (45 off 25) added 78 for the first wicket in just eight overs. Thereafter, Gayle the universe boss arrived to play his first game of professional cricket since January 2020, and hit five sixes on his way to a quick fire 50 and shared a 93-run stand with Rahul to put Kings XI on the brink of victory.
Chris Morris' 25 off just 8 balls, which included two sixes and a four off Mohammed Shami in the 20th over, and Sri Lankan all rounder Isuru Udana's 10 off five balls helped RCB cross 170, which was a remarkable recovery from.
Isuru Udana smashed a wonderful six off a shoulder high bouncer, much to the delight of sparse crowd, it was a high quality shot an he played a crucial role in ensuring to keep Chris Morris on strike.
Chris Gayle responding to the after match presentation regarding the long lay off and his finger pointing at the bat sticker after he scored 50 said "I was Not really nervous. I mean, come on. It's Universe Boss batting, how can I be nervous. It was a very sticky surface, very slow, but it was better batting second. Team asked me to do a job at 3 and it wasn't an issue. Openers been batting well throughout the tournament and we didn't want to disturb that. Like I said, I was given a job and took it. All I was saying, put some respect on the name [by pointing to his bat sticker]. That's all.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE171/6(20 overs)
Virat Kohli 48 (39), Chris Morris 25* (8)
Murugan Ashwin 2/23(4), Mohammed Shami 2/45(4)
KINGS XI PUNJAB177/2(20 overs)
KL Rahul 61* (49), Chris Gayle 53 (45)
Yuzvendra Chahal 1/35(3), Navdeep Saini 0/21(4)
Below are the highlights of the match.