IPL: Bairstow Stars in Record Chase For Punjab

Jonny Bairstowโ€™s amazing unbeaten century of 108 from 48 balls led Punjab Kings to the highest successful T20 run-chase ever. The Kolkata Knight Riders earlier had posted a monster total of 261-6 but the Kings reached the target with eight wickets remaining and 8 balls to spare.

Punjab Kings' Jonny Bairstow plays a shot during the Indian Premier League

The previous record for the highest chase in a T20 was South Africaโ€™s chase of 259 against the West Indies last year.

Bairstow had eight fours and nine sixes in his innings and reached his century in 45 balls, the quickest by an Englishman in the IPL. It should be noted that Bairstow has been struggling for form, with a high score of only 42 in his last six innings this season.

Bairstow got help first from Prabhsimran Singh who opened with him as an impact substitute and smashed 54 from 20 balls. The opening stand was worth 93 runs in just six overs, getting their team off to a quick start.  

Shashank Singh then came and helped knock off the massive run-chase with a scorching 68* from just 28 balls. He had 8 sixes in his short stint, taking on the bowling attack from his first ball at the crease.

Somehow Sunil Narine was able to come out the innings with figures of 1-24 from his 4 overs. The rest of the KKR bowlers were smashed all over the stadium, most going for over 15 runs and over in their spell. Anukul Roy and Andre Russell in particular were taken apart by the batsmen, conceding 72 runs in their four overs combined.

KKR still hold the second spot in the IPL standings with 10 points through their first 8 matches. They are however tied with the Sunriser Hyderabad and the Lucknow Super Giants, so they could fall down the standings fast with another loss.

PBKS notched their third win of the season in nine and broke a losing streak of 4 consecutive matches. They are still far from reaching the playoffs in 8th position but will take a lot of confidence from such a big win against one of the top teams in the tournament.

Match Summary

Kings XI won the toss and elected to field first, deciding they had a better shot chasing against KKR at Eden Gardens. The Knight Riders got off to a hot start, Phil salt and Sunil Narine ran away with the innings, scoring 83 for no loss in the first 6 overs. Salt was dropped twice in the powerplay which cost them dearly as the KKR wicket keeper scored 75 off just 37 balls, including 6 fours and 6 sixes. Narine wasnโ€™t to be outmatched, with 72 off 32 balls with 9 fours and 4 sixes. The two ran up the score to 138 before Narine fell Rahul Charhar in the deep.

KKR promoted Andre Russell up to No. 4, and he entered in the 13th over to score quickfire 24 off 12 balls. Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer ended the innings strong, hitting 85 off the last six overs. In the end KKR left Punjab with the daunting total of 261 for 6 which was the seventh-highest total in IPL history.

Kings XI wasted no time in the chase, pumping their highest-ever powerplay score of 93 for 1. Prabhsimran Singh starred in the first few overs as the Impact sub, hammering 54 off 20 balls. He had an especially impressive over against KKR debutant Dushmantha Chameera which went for 23 runs that got his team the momentum. 

Bairstow got into the act as well, destroying an Anukul Roy over for 25 to end the powerplay. Even after Singh was run out, Bairstow just kept going, bringing up one of the best centuries in recent memory in a T20. Ultimately, Kings XI got to the total rather easily with more than an over to spare.

Baristow was named Man of the Match rather unsurprisingly.

KKR will face the Deccan Chargers next on Monday night while the Kings XI will play the Chennai Super Kings next wednesday at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium.ย