Punjab Kings took on the Delhi Capitals in the 11th Match of the IPL 2021. Rishabh Pant having won the toss, opted to field first, hoping for the dew to kick in the second half of the innings. However, his decision didn’t pay dividends as the Punjab Kings got off to a dream start courtesy a brilliant 122-run opening partnership between K.L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
Mayank was particularly impressive with his strokeplay and hammered a brilliant 69 of just 36 balls. His back-to-back sixes off the bowling of Rabada was the highlight of the innings. He was ably supported by K.L Rahul from the other end who played the anchor’s role to perfection. It was a subdued innings from Rahul who had played a blistering knock in the first game against the Rajasthan Royals. Here he played second fiddle to Mayank, who was striking it sweetly.
Eventually, Rahul ended up with a score of 61 runs from 51 balls before picking out Marcus Stoinis at the deep-midwicket of the bowling of Kagiso Rabada. Rahul laid a solid platform for the others batsmen to follow. The finishing touches to the innings were applied by Deepak Hooda and ‘ who played vital cameos at the end which helped the team to a very competitive score of 195.
Rahul took 45 deliveries to complete his half-century and became only the third player in the history of IPL to register a fifty on his birthday. The classy top-order batsman celebrated his 29th birthday in a special way. David Warner and Michael Hussey were the only players previously to cross the 50-run mark on their birthdays. David Warner had blasted a 25-ball fifty against the Delhi Capitals last year on his birthday while Michael Hussey scored a fifty against Kolkata Knight Riders in the final of the 2012 edition on his birthday.