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KXIP vs RCB | Player Ratings - Chris Gayle 99 in vain as Kings XI Punjab lose their first home game against Royal Challengers Bangalore

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Bastab K Parida

Last Saturday at 10:06 PM

After a solid 99 by “Universe Boss” Chris Gayle which set up a fine total of 173 runs for Kings XI Punjab, their bowlers misfired big-time to hand Royal Challengers Bangalore their first win in the tournament. Among others, Murugan Ashwin was somehow a silver-lining in the dark cloud.

KL Rahul(4/10): The Karnataka batsman is enjoying a supreme run of form and looked in good touch tonight as well, but his overconfidence eventually proved to be his kryptonite. With Yuzvendra Chahal trying to bowl more conventional leg-breaks, standing his ground was a better option than stepping out to get under the ball. Stumping is never the ideal way to be dismissed when you are in good nick. 

Chris Gayle(9.5/10): Greatness in sport is reserved for those who rise up from the ashes and take back their rightful place on the throne even when the world gives them no chance. It is the sporting equivalent of Joseph Campbell's myth of a hero and Chris Gayle has definitely placed himself into the pantheon of heroes, if there was any doubt about that. With Universe Boss” written on the bat, Gayle showed RCB that they had indeed lost a gem while counting the sands a year and a half ago. 

Mayank Agarwal(3/10): Like his good friend KL Rahul, Mayank also failed to judge Chahal’s drift and was caught in the crease. The length cramped him but it is hard to blame Agarwal for the simple fact that he had a little reaction time. He had worn a forlorn look on his way back to the pavilion - a look of defeat. 

Sarfaraz Khan(4/10): It is an irony that a gifted cricketer like Sarfaraz Khan, who has been almost pigeonholed into the image of a man-child thanks to some of the innovative mode of dismissals he has found over the years, truly came of age in the IPL this year. He played two fine innings of composure this IPL, but returned to his original man-child cricket version to be dismissed in a petty manner - a simple catch to the wicket-keeper. If he needs to come out of that image and carve his own niche, he needs to work on that conspicuously. But wow for his audacity to take up the ball and agreeing to bowl the last over. The might’ve resulted in a loss, but he is a hero for that single count.

Sam Curran(4/10): The Englishman is so mercurial in his batting that Kings XI Punjab have tried him in almost all positions in the top-order. This worked on occasions, and mostly it didn’t, but the basic purpose that he can be a pinch-hitter is hard to miss. The ball, that he was caught plumb on, was a classic example of it as the Englishman tried to hit but failed in his pursuit. His primary job, which was bowling, was not good either and that had partly had to do with the way Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli gunned him down in the beginning. 

Nicholas Pooran (7/10): The Caribbean wicket-keeper was a spectator during the entire Punjab innings and in the process, he pulled off some interesting expressions by watching Gayle’s sixes, and had the match been a “Koffee with Karan” episode, he would’ve gone trending on social media. His solid keeping will render him one more than the standardised 6.

Mandeep Singh(6/10): Fair play to Mandeep that he gave his all so that Gayle could pull off the century act. In the process, he played out 16 deliveries for 18, which was understandable considering the fact that Gayle was charging at the other end and there was no reason he should’ve gone for any big stokes.

Ravichandran Ashwin (7.5/10): If one trick fails, I will try another and show you what I have got. Ravichandran Ashwin was almost challenging the system, and in the process batsmen, by bowling a new type of deliveries within one over. If it brought back memories of Sachin Tendulkar rolling his arms over, it’s okay, you can reveal in the nostalgia. Ashwin was so good today - a touch of modernity, yet classical in approach.

Andrew Tye(3/10): Not the kind of performance Tye has produced when Punjab win in the Indian Premier League. It was rather a kind of performance that Mohammed Siraj regularly bowls for RCB. Tye bowled a short length, almost throughout his entire spell, and there was no way he could find a way out the mess he created once Kohli and AB were settled in the middle.

Mohammed Shami(3/10): It was as if the entire Punjab pace bowling unit was prepared to throw in the towel even before the game ended and wanted RCB to taste their first win. Shami was wayward from the very first ball he bowled and dismissing Virat Kohli couldn’t hide the fact that it was a terrible terrible bowling display by someone, who has been in the form of his life as far as the white-ball game is concerned. 

Murugan Ashwin(6/10): Murugan Ashwin is an unassuming star in the IPL, often overshadowed by the more illustrious Ashwin in the team. But in the age of half-understood extremes, he operates with shade of white and a dash of black and comes out as an important cog in the wheel. The way he didn’t let the stream flow in the middle overs and bowled googlies to trouble Virat Kohli helped Ravichandran Ashwin from the other end. 

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