Despite a century by Mayank Agarwal for Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals chased down a total of 224 to pull off the highest successful run chase in IPL history.
The Royals scored 86 runs in the death overs alone, with Sanju Samson maxing out at a 42-ball 85 before falling to a Mohammad Shami delivery, while Rahul Tewatia took up the mantle to hit 53 off 31 balls. Samson and Tewatia scored seven sixes each to take the Royals to victory.
Punjab started well, its score set up mostly by openers Agarwal and K.L. Rahul with a 183-run opening stand off 99 balls; the former managing the second-fastest century by an Indian in IPL history. While the first innings saw Punjab make good use of the Sharjah pitch, which favours a run fest, it was the Royals who made the most of it in the second innings.
Steve Smith scored a 27-ball 50 to keep RR in the hunt. But, while things were not still looking good for the Royals towards the end, Tewatia’s five sixes in the 18th over put them back in the game, with Jofra Archer and Tom Curran taking the final stand to secure a four-wicket and historic victory.
The match was chock-full of memorable moments, be it Tewatia’s sixes or the incredible dive by Nicolas Pooran across the boundary to toss the ball back or even Agarwal and Rahul missing out on the highest opening partnership in IPL history by a mere two runs when Agarwal was out in the 17th over after hitting 10 fours and seven sixes during his magnificent 50-ball knock. Deservedly, Samson took home the man of the match award.
Kings XI Punjab: 223 for 2 in 20 overs (Mayank Agarwal 106, KL Rahul 69; Ankit Rajpoot 1/39).
Rajasthan Royals: 226 for 6 in 19.3 overs (Sanju Samson 85, Rahul Tewatia 53, Steve Smith 50; Mohammed Shami 3/53).