IPL 2019, KXIP vs CSK: KL Rahul attacks Harbhajan Singh to hit 19-ball fifty

IPL 2019: KL Rahul brought up his half-century in just 19 balls in KXIP's final match of the season on Sunday (<b> Courtesy by BCCI</b>)

IPL 2019: KL Rahul brought up his half-century in just 19 balls in KXIP’s final match of the season on Sunday ( Courtesy by BCCI)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • KL Rahul brought up his fifty in just 19 balls in Mohali on Sunday
  • Rahul holds the record for the fastest fifty (14 balls) in IPL
  • Rahul smashed Harbhajan Singh for 24 runs in the spinner’s 2nd over

Kings XI Punjab opener KL Rahul continued his fine form, posting the third-fastest half-century in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 in their last match of the season against Chennai Super Kings in Mohali on Sunday.

Rahul already holds the record for the fastest half-century in IPL cricket — a 14-ball fifty in IPL 2018 for Kings XI Punjab. Hardik Pandya holds the record for the fastest fifty in the ongoing season as he had smashed a 17-ball fifty against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens while Rishabh Pant is second on the list with his 18-ball fifty against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.

Chasing a par score of 171, Rahul smashed a half-century from just 19 balls and gave Kings XI Punjab a flying start at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium.

Rahul was ruthless against Chennai Super Kings premier off-spinner Harbhajan Singh as he took the veteran to the cleaners. Rahul welcomed Harbhajan into the attack with two back-to-back sixes as early as the second over in the powerplay.

He began the brutal assault with brilliantly-timed inside-out shot against Harbhajan that sailed over the boundary ropes. Rahul didn’t stop there as he launched into Harbhajan in the off-spinner’s second over which also came inside the powerplay.

Harbhajan had leaked 18 runs in his first over but CSK captain MS Dhoni persisted with the off-spinner for another over in the powerplay. The move backfired as Rahul tamed Harbhajan, smashing 24 runs in the fourth over of their chase.

Where did it come from? Where did it go? #SaddaPunjab #KXIPvCSK #VIVOIPL @klrahul11pic.twitter.com/lR4UkLqzs3

Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) May 5, 2019

Rahul began the over with a hat-trick of boundaries before ending it with back-to-back sixes.

Following the power-hitting against Harbhajan Singh, KL Rahul completed the third fastest fifty of the season inside the fourth over of Kings XI Punjab’s chase.

Rahul became only the second batsman after Sunil Narine to hit two half-centuries in less than 20 balls in the IPL as the KXIP opener struck his latest fifty in just 19 balls.

However, Harbhajan Singh got his revenge as the CSK off-spinner got the big wicket of KL Rahul for 71 (26 balls) in his second spell.

Rahul has been in fine form for Kings XI Punjab despite the team’s inconsistent performances in IPL 2019. Rahul scored his maiden IPL century earlier this season and has six fifties as well.

Rahul is certain to finish the league stages as the second-highest run-getter only behind David Warner, who amassed 692 runs in 12 matches.

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Tarun Ghosh

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