KKR vs PBKS: Iyer’s half-century in vain as KL Rahul powers Punjab to a five-wicket win

A match-winning half-century (67 off 55) by KL Rahul propels the Punjab Kings to a five-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 45 of the Indian Premier League at the Dubai International Stadium. 

The skipper anchored the innings with a scintillating half-century to help his side get over the line in a nail-biting encounter.

After being asked to bat first, the Knight Riders were dented early in the innings as Arshdeep Singh produced a peach to dismiss Shubman Gill for seven.

Despite the wicket, Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi stitched a crucial 72-run stand for the second wicket to give the team a solid foundation at the top of the order.

En route to this partnership, the southpaw notched up a destructive half-century to keep the Knight Riders steady in the first half of the innings. However, the Knights were jolted in the 12th over as Tripathi was caught on the boundary trying to attack the opposition bowling unit in the middle overs for 34.

Along with Iyer, Nitish Rana continued to keep the scoreboard ticking before the former was dismissed for a sublime half-century (67). The knock was studded with nine boundaries and one six.

Continuing his fine form in the competition, Rana displayed an array of strokes all around the ground to score a quick-fire 31 off 18 balls to propel the side to 165/7 in their quota of 20 overs.

In reply, the opening combination of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal started the run chase in a commanding fashion. The duo stitched a 70-run partnership for the opening wicket before Agarwal was dismissed by Varun Chakaravarthy for a 27-ball 40.

Despite his wicket, Rahul kept the scoreboard moving along with Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram in the middle overs. The skipper anchored the innings and notched up a match-defining half-century to guide the team to a five-wicket win.

The Knights will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in an evening encounter on Sunday, 3rd October at Dubai International Stadium.