Images from the IPL match between Punjab Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, in Ahmedabad, on Friday.

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Skipper K L Rahul scored a magnificent, unbeaten 91 as Punjab Kings fought back after a middle order flop to post 179 for 5 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League match, in Ahmedabad, on Friday.

The experienced India opener anchored the innings with a 57-ball knock in good partnerships while Chris Gayle (46 off 24 balls) and Harpreet Brar (25 off 17) to enable Punjab put up a fighting total, which looked bleak at one stage.

Punjab Kings were reeling at 119 for 5 at the end of the 15th over, but Rahul and Brar put on a 61-run partnership for the sixth wicket off 32 balls to take 60 runs from the last five overs.

Rahul went for broke and hit Harshal Patel for a four off the second delivery of the final over, a six off the next and a four off the fourth to get to 90. He scored just a single before Brar hit a six off the last ball.

22 runs were scored in that last over as Punjab finished with 179 for 5.

Kyle Jamieson, who was mauled by Gayle, did well to finish with figures of 2-32, while Daniel Sams (1-24), Yuzvendra Chahal (1-34) and Shahbaz Ahmed (1-11) did well to restrict the Punjab Kings.

Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and opted to bowl first. They made just one change, bringing in Shahbaz Ahmed for Washington Sundar. 

Punjab Kings made three changes to their squad. Mayank Agarwal, Moises Henriques  and Arshdeep Singh were left out and Prabhsimran Singh, Harpreet Brar and Riley Meredith included in the playing eleven.

KL Rahul opened with a new partner, Prabhsimran Singh, while Daniel Sams sent down the first over for RCB.

After a rather quite first over from which just three runs came , Rahul hit a six off Mohammed Siraj in the second over as Punjab Kings took 10 runs from it.

RCB brought in right-arm fast bowler Kyle Jamieson for the fourth over and the New Zealander struck with his third delivery, having Prabhsimran caught by Virat Kohli. 

The batsman went for the charge early and mistimed the short ball to extra cover, where Kohli took the catch easily. 

Prabhsimran was out for 7 off 7 balls and Punjab Kings were 19 for 1 after the third delivery of the third over.

In walked the great Chris Gayle and got going immediately. He hit Jamieson for four successive fours off the first four deliveries of the sixth over before finishing it with another as Punjab Kings took 20 runs from it to get to 49 for 1 after the powerplay. Gayle was on 22 off 8 while Rahul had scored 18 off 21.

A single by Rahul off Harshal Patel brought up the 50-run stand for the second wicket in the eighth over.

The pair continued to attack the RCB bowlers and took Punjab to 90-1 at the half-way mark. Gayle was on 45 off 22 balls and Rahul on 36 off 31.

Rahul then hit Sams for a six off the second delivery of the 11th over before the left-arm fast bower snared the big wicket of Gayle and ended an 80-run stand for the second wicket. 

The West Indian hooked a short ball down leg side and was caught by A B de Villiers after a blazing 46 off 24 balls, which included 6 fours and 2 sixes. Punjab Kings were 99 for 2 in the 11th over.

Rahul then brought up his 50 in the 12th over off the second delivery from Jamieson. But disaster struck. Nicholas Pooran, the new man in, lasted just three deliveries. Jamieson dug one short and Pooran, surprised by the bounce, edged an easy catch to Shahbaz Khan at backward point. The West Indian batsman picked his fourth duck in his last six innings and Punjab Kings were 109 for 3 after 12 overs.

Deepak Hooda (5) was next at the crease, but he too did not last long. He tried to sweep the last delivery of the 14th over from Shahbaz Ahmed over square leg but did not connect well. Rajat Patidar did well to run in and take the catch at deep backward square.

Wickets continued to fall as Shahrukh Khan was deceived by a googly from Yuzvendra Chahal and bowled for a duck. 

Punjab Kings were 119-5 at the end of the 15th over, with Rahul batting on 56 off 42.

Harpreet Brar, who came in at the fall off Hooda, hit a four and a six off successive deliveries from Harshal and Rahul scored a four as Punjab got 18 runs from the 18th over to get to 150 for 5.

Only seven runs came from the penultimate over, bowled by Siraj.

Rahul then went for broke and hit Harshal for a four off the second delivery of the final over, a six off the next and a four off the fourth to get to 90. He scored just a single before Brar hit a six off the last ball. 22 runs came off that last over as Punjab finished with 179 for 5.

The two put on a 61-run partnership for the sixth wicket off 32 balls, as 60 runs were scored in the last five overs. 

– IPL 2021

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