IPL 2018: Rahul slams fastest IPL 50 as Kings XI beat Delhi

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Once again Lokesh Rahul proved his ability to make an impact in any form of the game as the King XI Punjab opener scored the fastest half-century in Indian Premier League (IPL) history on Sunday.

The former India opener took a liking to Axar Patel, smashing the spinner for a huge six over mid-off and hitting 14 off just three balls of the fourth over. The southpaw's misery finally came to an end when he was caught by Vijay Shankar at mid wicket off Rahul Tewatia (4-24-1).

Rahul smashed 4 hits over the fence and 6 boundaries on his way to the milestone 14-ball 51. Gambhir was run out for 55.

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Chasing 167, KXIP owed their sensational start to Rahul, who hammered six fours and four sixes. "Me and AB getting out in two balls to a part-timer was game-changing as well". Apart from Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, David Miller and Marcus Stoinis, Kings XI have gone in with a new bunch of players in an attempt to turn their fortunes around. With the likes of Gambhir, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer, Jason Roy and Prithvi Shaw, the side has the ability to go for big totals.

"When Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) came to bat, he told me, 'I was anxious for a bit that you were going to break my 11-ball fifty record!' [Yuvraj had hit a half-century off 12 balls against England in the World T20 2007, which is the worldwide record]" Rahul was quoted as saying by Wisden India. This season, KXIP look a balanced side with Ashwin set for his maiden stint as captain of an IPL team.

Bowlers to look forward to in Delhi Daredevils team: A lot of limelight will also be on India seamer Mohammed Shami for his recent off-field incidents but he is expected to share the new ball with the New Zealand pacer Trent Boult.

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On a pitch that had a bit of green, it was the two spinners who had a good innings. KXIP had invested heavily on Indian talent during the auctions, and led by a bowling captain, broke out a three-pronged spin attack that strangled the Delhi innings in the middle overs.

However, the Delhi skipper did not get adequate support from his team mates. He said the side boasts of some of "extremely unsafe cricket players" and "all match winners on their own". The 25-year-old opening batsman has made 23 test appearances to go along with 10 ODI and 15 T20 Internationals. "So that was the plan for me to strike hard early", Rahul said.

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