(SportsMax) There was no Chris Gayle in the line-up as KL Rahul blasted the fastest Indian Premier League half-century and teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman excelled on his debut to help Kings XI Punjab beat Delhi Daredevils by six wickets.
Kings XI recruited Rahul after Royal Challengers Bangalore opted against retaining the India batsman and he showed why they forked out INR 11 crore for his services by smashing 51 off only 16 balls at PCA Stadium.
Rahul took just 14 deliveries to reach 50 and Karun Nair also made a half-century as the new-look Kings XI reached their target of 167 with seven balls to spare in the second game of the tournament.
New Daredevils skipper Gautam Gambhir top scored with 55 as his side posted 166/7, but 17-year-old Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb delivered on his IPL bow in a promising start for Kings XI.
HISTORY-MAKER MUJEEB HITS THE GROUND RUNNING
Mujeeb is now the youngest player to feature in the IPL aged 17 and 11 days and he could be around for some time on the evidence of his debut.
The tweaker wasted no time in making an impact, trapping Colin Munro leg before wicket when the New Zealand batsman got himself in a mess attempting a switch hit.
After striking with only his third ball, Mujeeb ran the well set Gambhir out and removed Rishabh Pant for 28 when the wicketkeeper-batsman was going along nicely to reduce Delhi to 111-4 in the 14th over.
Mujeeb finished with impressive figures of 2-28 from his four overs, while captain Ashwin took 1-23 and Mohit Sharma 2-33.
GAMBHIR GIVES IT AWAY
Evergreen opener Gambhir led by example at the top of the order, timing the ball exquisitely to make a half-century for his new side.
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.
Gambhir’s excellent knock came to an end with a soft dismissal, the left-hander ambling through for a single and failing to make his ground as Mujeeb ran him out with a direct him from short fine leg.
Chris Morris flexed his muscles with a quickfire unbeaten 27 to give new Daredevils coach Ricky Ponting hope of making a winning start.
RAHUL RUNS RIOT
Ponting could only watch on as a brutal onslaught from Rahul left the Kings XI wondering what had hit them, the opener dealing in boundaries as he raced to a half-century in a flash.
He took only two off the first three deliveries, but struck Trent Boult over the ropes with disdain and hit the next two balls for four in an opening over which cost 16 runs.
Mohammed Shami also came in for some treatment and Rahut was raising his bat in the third over after dispatching Amit Mishra (0-46) for two sixes and three fours.
Boult returned to bring an end to the Rahul fireworks, but Nair (50 off 33) took the baton with a great display of clean striking before David Miller (24 not out) and Marcus Stoinis (22) got Kings XI over the line.