Punjab Kings (PBKS) endured a tough two-run defeat against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) clash on Tuesday night but the opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and skipper KL Rahul managed to keep the oppposition on their toes after some ferocious hitting.
Such was the display that the league's most expensive player so far, Chris Morris, was slammed for 25 runs in an over, after which the all-rounder temporarily left the field.
Mayank Agarwal's exploits against Royals
While Rahul missed out from completing a fine half-century, Agarwal made sure he achieved the milestone, which was also his tenth in IPL. The batsman scored 67 off 43 balls to bring PBKS tantalisingly close to the win, which was later ruined by 20-year-old Kartik Tyagi, who defended four runs in the final over to hand his side an important win.
During his 43-ball stay in the middle, Mayank went on to tumble a few records as he and KL Rahul now have the most number of 100-plus stand by a PBKS pair. This was the fifth 100-plus partnership between the two, who were also sharing the same dressing room in England just before the IPL. The 30-year-old on Tuesday also completed 2000 IPL runs.
Fans question his snub
Interestingly, the knock by Agarwal comes at a time when he has not been considered in Team India's T20 World Cup squad, which will be played right after the conclusion of IPL. Many fans on Twitter hailed his splendid show and wondered his omission from the white-ball setup.
Hasn't played a game in 5 months and here he is smacking all around the park ! Well done Mayank Agarwal.
— Sufiyan Mohammed (@iamsufiyaan7) September 21, 2021
— Sushant Mehta (@SushantNMehta) September 21, 2021
— VK (@VK_regime) September 21, 2021
Mayank Agarwal's performance in IPL 2021
While PBKS skipper Rahul currently wears the Orange Cap, a cap presented to the highest individual scorer in IPL, his opening partner Agarwal has also enjoyed a fine run in the ongoing season. Before the tournament was suspended midway due to COVID-19, the 30-year-old was enjoying great form, which also included an unbeaten 99 in his first match as PBKS captain.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 2, 2021
Batting at a strike-rate almost touching 150, Agarwal stands second in the individual run tally among his IPL teammates and has so far accumulated 327 runs in 8 innings, which include three half-centuries.