IPL 2021: Hooda, Rahul power Punjab Kings to 221/6
Punjab Kings have racked up 221/6 against Rajasthan Royals in match four of the IPL 2021. The Punjab-based side were bolstered by a blistering knock from Deepak Hooda, who gained promotion in the batting order. Skipper KL Rahul added the finishing touch after having shared a century-stand with Hooda. It will be interesting to see if RR capitalize upon the dew factor now.
PBKS were off to a phenomenal start after Sanju Samson elected to field. Mayank Agarwal fell to debutant Chetan Sakariya initially, but Rahul kept attacking the bowlers. He was joined by Caribbean maestro Gayle, who smashed a quick-fire 40. After Gayle's departure, middle-order batsman Hooda fired some mammoth sixes to dent RR's plight. Hooda, along with Rahul, powered Punjab to this mammoth total.
Gayle gave a glimpse of his masterclass in his brief innings. He came to the crease in the third over. The 41-year played some belligerent shots during his knock. He finished with 40 off 28 balls with the help of 4 fours and 2 sixes. Notably, Gayle became the first-ever player to smash 350 sixes in the IPL (351).
After Gayle's dismissal, the decision to send Deepak Hooda ahead of Nicholas Pooran made headlines. However, the latter justified the decision by playing a scintillating knock. He raced to his third career IPL fifty off just 20 deliveries. This has become the fifth-fastest IPL fifty by a Punjab Kings batsman. Hooda ended up scoring 64 off 28 balls (4 fours, 6 sixes).
Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul bagged the Orange Cap in the IPL 2020. He seems to be continuing with his exploits this time as well. In his first game this time, Rahul anchored Punjab's innings. He brought up his 22nd half-century in the IPL off 30 deliveries. Rahul, who smashed 91 off 50 balls, was finally dismissed by an acrobatic catch by Rahul Tewatia.