Delhi Capitals piled on the pain for Punjab Kings and KL Rahul by racing to a seven-wicket victory in the Indian Premier League and going top of the table.

It was revealed earlier on Sunday that Kings captain and star batsman Rahul faces surgery after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, and he was in hospital while this match played out at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

In his absence, stand-in skipper Mayank Agarwal made a dominant 99 not out in a total of 166-6, helming the Kings innings and cutting loose when he saw fit in a terrific 58-ball knock that contained four sixes and eight fours.

Shikhar Dhawan produced the key innings for the Capitals in response, making an unbeaten 69 and finding the sort of support that Agarwal lacked, helping Delhi to 167-3, winning with 14 balls to spare.

Agarwal had required five from the final ball of the Kings innings to post what would have been just the second IPL century of his career, but he could only crunch a four down the ground rather than clear the ropes.

Kagiso Rabada had earlier taken two wickets in his first two overs, the second coming when he bowled Kings veteran Chris Gayle with a full toss immediately after being cracked for six by the West Indies batsman.

That was the first of three sixes off Rabada's bowling, but the South African paceman also removed Prabhsimran Singh and Chris Jordan while taking 3-36 in his four-over allocation.

Dawid Malan made 26 but it was ostensibly a one-man show as Agarwal contended with a revolving cast of batting partners.

Delhi had more about them, with Prithvi Shaw making 39 in a 63-run first-wicket stand alongside Dhawan, before Steve Smith added 25.

Shimron Hetmyer launched Riley Meredith for two consecutive sixes followed by a cover drive for four in the 18th over, leaving Delhi just two short of their victory target.

Neither Hetmyer nor Dhawan had the privilege of finishing the job, however, with a pair of wides from Meredith carrying the Capitals over the line.


Agarwal deserved better

Not only did he take over as captain, Agarwal also led by proud example, just as Rahul as so often done. His innings was the standout performance of this match, but where he rose to the occasion, others in the Kings ranks wilted. Gayle, with 13, was the team's third highest scorer, and it is almost impossible to win matches that way.

Getting all Het up

Hetmyer's late care-free cameo of 16 from four deliveries would likely not have happened without his team-mates laying solid foundations. They did so in the face of largely unthreatening bowling from Punjab, who sit sixth with three wins from eight games, amid doubts over whether their leader will be back in action this season.

KL Rahul scored another magnificent half-century and Harpreet Brar tormented Royal Challengers Bangalore in a 34-run Indian Premier League win for Punjab Kings.

Captain Rahul replaced Shikhar Dhawan as the leading run-scorer in the tournament with a scintillating 91 off 57 balls, getting Kings up to 179-5 after Virat Kohli put them in.

Chris Gayle also smashed a rapid 46 from 24 balls before Rahul and Harpreet provided a late flurry at Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.

RCB fell well short in reply with the Kings attack giving nothing away, Kohli top scoring with 35 as they could only muster 145-8 in Ahmedabad.

They never got going in the run chase and lost six wickets for 34 runs, with spinner Harpreet sparking the collapse by bowling Kohli before cleaning up Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck off the next ball in a double-wicket maiden.

Harpreet claimed outstanding figures of 3-19, while fellow tweaker Ravi Bishnoi finished with a brilliant 2-17 in a resounding victory.

Harshal Patel (31) and Kyle Jamieson (16 not out) combined for an eighth-wicket stand of 48, but the damage had been done as Kings moved up to fifth, consigning third-placed RCB to only a second defeat.

 

RCB have no answer to Rahul

Punjab skipper Rahul must wish he could play against RCB more often, as they have not managed to get him out since 2019.

The India batsman was imperious once again, bringing up his fourth half-century of the tournament off 35 balls after Gayle had taken 20 off a Jamieson over and struck Yuzvendra Chahal for two sixes in the next before gloving a Daniel Sams delivery behind.

Harshal, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, went for 53 runs off his four wicket-less overs - the last of the innings costing 22 as Rahul and Harpreet (25 not out from 17) cut loose.

 

Harp calls the tune

Riley Meredith struck an early blow by removing Devdutt Padikkal's off stump before the Kings spinners came to the fore.

RCB were struggling on 36-1 at the end of the powerplay and were well behind the run rate when Kohli came down the track to Harpreet but lost his off stump.

Harpreet was on a hat-trick after bamboozling Maxwell with a peach of a delivery that clicked his off stump. It was pretty much game over when the same bowler had AB de Villiers caught at extra cover by Rahul, with Rajat Patidar soon following for 31.

KL Rahul and Chris Gayle powered Punjab Kings to a much-needed victory as they ended a three-game losing streak in the Indian Premier League in emphatic fashion against Mumbai Indians.

On the receiving end of significant margins in each of their previous defeats, the Kings turned the tables in style to surge to a nine-wicket triumph through a superb performance with bat and ball.

Despite a fine 63 from Rohit Sharma, Mumbai could only manage 131-6 as Mohammed Shami and young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi kept them in check.

Captain Rahul and Gayle then made short work of the target of 132, with Kings losing only one wicket in the process and reaching the finishing line with 14 balls to spare.

Rahul hit three fours and as many sixes in an unbeaten 60, while Gayle struck 43 off 35 balls as their partnership of 79 inspired the Kings.

Having already produced scores of 91 and 61 in this season's competition, Rahul laid the platform for a routine chase with a first-wicket stand of 53 with Mayank Agarwal.

Agarwal lofted Rahul Chahar to long-on as he was dismissed for 25, but the arrival of Gayle only served to help the Kings hit the accelerator.

His and Rahul's stand ensured there was never any doubt of them chasing a modest total, Mumbai having failed to offer Rohit sufficient support during their innings.

Rohit helped Mumbai to recover from 26-2 to 105-2 as he and Suryakumar Yadav (33 off 27) steadied the ship.

However, Suryakumar top-edged Bishnoi to Gayle at short third man to start the 16th over and Rohit soon followed in being dismissed when he fired a low full toss from Shami straight to deep square.

Kieron Pollard (16 not out off 12) provided an efficient cameo, but both Hardik (1) and Krunal Pandya (3) failed to get going as Mumbai limped to the finish to give the Kings a straightforward task.

"I think I would've been the best batsman in the world if I played cricket."

Christian Vieri is regarded as one of the greatest strikers to have played football.

Once the most expensive player in the world, the former Italy international won titles with Juventus, Inter, Lazio and Torino, while he claimed numerous individual honours – the Pichichi Trophy and Serie A Footballer of the Year to go with his FIFA 100 selection and other awards.

But it could have been a lot different for the cricket-mad 47-year-old after growing up in Australia – a far cry from his birthplace in Bologna.

"My whole family is a soccer-team family," Vieri, who also played for Milan, recalled to Stats Perform News. "My father played, I played, my grandfather, my brother. So when my father at the end of his career in Bologna, they asked him if he wanted to go play in Sydney with Marconi. He said yes and the whole family moved there. He played for some time and coached there. We all went with him. 

"I think I was about four years old and I stayed 10 years there, till about 14. I grew up there. It was good. Growing up with the kids, for me it wasn't strange. Now, if you tell people, it's a bit strange that I grew up in Australia but when I was there it was normal – going to school, playing soccer, playing cricket, playing different sports. I was a big fan of cricket. Even if we were 13-14, we would go watch Australia play Test matches, ODI matches in Sydney. I'm a very big, big cricket fan."

"I just love playing," Vieri said. "I was probably playing more cricket than soccer at school. You know what we would do? The tennis ball, we would tape it up to make it go faster and swing. I think I would've been the best batsman in the world if I played cricket. I was an all-rounder. I was really good. 

"You know what happened now? Two months ago before the second coronavirus wave, I spoke to someone from the cricket association, I'm going to start playing in March, April. It's a small thing in Italy, in Milan there is a cricket team. I spoke with the Italian cricket captain. They said listen, when you want to play with us, just come. I said listen, one thing is playing with a tennis ball when you're 14, one thing is playing with professionals. I want to come three or four days, train with you guys and see how it is. 

"I just love the game. I watch all the West Indies' games – Viv Richard, Clive Lloyd, Joel Garner, all those guys. I would watch Australia but in those days, the Windies were too strong for everyone. I'm on YouTube a lot watching cricket. My wife always says 'what are you watching? what is this?', three hours a day watching games from 1984 and 1986, and she is going 'what is wrong with you, why aren't you normal?' I say to her, 'listen, I grew up there, these are the days I was there following cricket'. She takes the p*** out of me. Pakistan had Imran Khan, I know the players. England had Ian Botham. It was fun. 

"I love the game. Couple of months when it gets a bit warmer and we can start to go out a bit easier, I would like to go training with the Italian team, see how fast the ball really comes at you, with your pads and everything. I think it would be a good experience."

So, as Vieri prepares to dust off his pads and helmet in Italy, who would he compare to in the current era of cricket?

"I think Chris Gayle from West Indies. I'm a left-hander," he added. "When I used to play, I'm not a Test match guy, I want to smash the ball outside the stadium. I think I would've been good."

And if Vieri remained down under in Australia, rather than returning to Italy at the age of 14, would he have opted for cricket over a football career?

"Cricket, soccer or tennis," Vieri, who retired in 2009, responded. "I play paddle, I play tennis for 30 years. I like tennis too because it's an individual game – it only depends on you."

Vieri went on to make 49 appearances for his beloved Italy, scoring 23 goals (ninth on the all-time list) following an international career spanning eight years between 1997 and 2005.

He made two trips to the World Cup in 1998 and 2002 – his nine goals across the two major tournaments a joint national record alongside Paolo Rossi and Roberto Baggio, while he also featured at Euro 2004.

While Vieri joined forces with the likes of past greats Paolo Maldini, Francesco Totti, Alessandro Del Piero, Filippo Inzaghi, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta and Andrea Pirlo for the Azzurri, his younger brother Max followed a different path.

Max Vieri, who was part of Juve's youth team before going on to play for Napoli in a notable spell, opted to represent Australia.

A midfielder, Max earned six caps for the Socceroos, but Christian Vieri never considered wearing the green and gold.

"I had two dreams when I was in Sydney playing and I was only 12, 13, 14, so you're going to school playing soccer. That's why I left Australia when I was 14 – my two dreams were to play in Serie A and for the national team – the blue jersey," said Vieri. "I remember in 1982 when Italy won the World Cup – Paolo Rossi and all those big players – I had it stuck in my head that I wanted to become an Italian player. When I was 14, I started breaking my dad's head about going to play soccer in Italy.

"When I started playing for Marconi, I started left full-back and then after I while, I said to the coach 'put me up front' and that's it, I was scoring goals and that's how everything started. My brother wanted to play for Australia always and I just had my dream to play the World Cups with Italy."

"I think the Australian team has done well in the last 10-15 years World Cup-wise and qualifications," he added. "They've done good. Of course when I was there – the big sports were AFL, rugby league, cricket – football wasn't the main sport but I think it's getting bigger. The evolution of football around world is just so big now, so much money behind it. When I was there, we were playing soccer and it wasn't the main sport but the passion we have and the kids have, it was bigger than the other sports."

Vieri's choice to chase his dream in Italy proved a wise decision, winning the Scudetto with Juve in 1997 before joining Atletico Madrid after just one season in Turin.

An incredible return of 24 goals in as many LaLiga matches for Atletico, and 29 from 32 appearances across all competitions in 1997-98, led to head coach Radomir Antic famously saying: "Vieri dead is better than any other attacker alive".

"We had a good relationship. I won the goalscoring award. I was a bit crazy those days. I would go out a lot. He would always say don't go out too much, train," Vieri recalled. "He knew I wanted to go back to Italy after about seven, eight months. He said, 'where are you going? you are going to stay here, LaLiga is your competition. You stay here and you just train a little bit, you score 50 goals a year with a cigarette'. I said yeah but I wanna go back home. 

"I think it was the best experience in my life playing in the Spanish league. It's the best quality league. There is so much technique and the way all the teams play, they all play to win. A lot of ball possession. Those days, you had to be really good to play. I had an amazing season."

Like his time at Juve, Vieri's spell with Atletico was brief as he returned to Italy via Lazio in a €25million deal the following season.

After 14 goals in 28 appearances and a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph in the Italian capital, Vieri became the most expensive player in the world when he reunited with former Juve boss Marcello Lippi at Inter, who splashed out €49m to partner the Italian with Brazilian great Ronaldo.

"The thing is that, if you play in Spain, Italy, England – they're the biggest competitions, so you can't block it out," Vieri said when asked about the pressures of being the world's most expensive player. "Automatically, from being normal to 100 times of pressure on you because 90billion Italian lire in those days, the player who cost more than anyone, every game you play you're judged… even more than before. 

"At Atletico, I was sold to Lazio – big scandal came out – then when I went to Inter for 90b [lire], the world went crazy. From Lazio, moving to Inter, going to play at San Siro, it's a heavy thing because San Siro – the biggest players in the world have played there, 85-90,000 people judging you all the time. They whistle if you don't play good. They've seen everyone. 

"When I went there, I said to myself, 'Bob, first game is at home, when I went to camp, in a month and a half, your first game is at home and whatever happens, you have to go score in that game. if you score in that game, you're gonna fly'. I trained a month and a half in camp, I wouldn't go out anywhere. First game, I scored three goals at home, 90,000 people went crazy. Took a lot of pressure off my shoulders that first game. Here they call me Mr. 90m guy, even today. It's a thing you're gonna call you that for the rest of your life."

Now, Vieri watches the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah, Romelu Lukaku, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe bang in the goals across Europe. 

How would he fare in 2020-21?

"I think it's easier to score these days because there's less marking. Before, football, first thing was not to concede, in Italy league at least," Vieri said. "It was probably the hardest league in the world in those days. All the biggest players in the world were there. We started the competition where seven teams were trying to win the league, not one or two but seven big teams with big, big players. If we would shoot twice in 90 minutes, we were happy. Those two shots, we would score one goal, we had to score once. 

"Today, the game has changed. The defenders don't mark as much, they play. They're more like midfielders, you have to play with the ball at your feet – the whole team have to attack. Now you have 15 strikers who score more than 20 goals. It's fun to watch still but changed a lot."

Popular on social media and Italian television in his post-playing days, Vieri has ventured into coaching as he works to complete his UEFA A and B license alongside the likes of former team-mates Del Piero and De Rossi.

"All of us, the former players, when we talk about things, we only miss one thing – staying together and training... having fun. The everyday stuff. The dressing rooms, we had the craziest dressing rooms, people. Taking the p*** out of everyone 24/7. 

"I speak with all my ex-team-mates. It's just fun. Now, I'm doing the coaching course… We just laugh, we have fun. We are doing UEFA A and B together. The way we talk to each other, it's just like back in the days. With a lot of former team-mates, we play paddle ball here in Milan. When we can, we hang out."

"The first thing is you need a license to coach. It's very hard, it's not easy. When you're doing two courses together because the federations asked UEFA if just the top 10 players could do it, so we're doing it," added Vieri, when asked if he was eyeing a coaching career.

"We'll see what happens. If I have a nice project, anything can happen. 1,000 of doors will open like I always say."

Faf du Plessis hit 48 as Kings XI Punjab were denied a place in the Indian Premier League play-offs after a nine-wicket defeat to Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.

Deepak Hooda whacked an unbeaten 62 off 30 balls as Kings XI posted 153-6 with Lungi Ngidi (3-39) doing the damage for the Super Kings with the ball.

South African Du Plessis laid the platform for CSK's response with a 34-ball 48 before Ruturaj Gaikwad's unbeaten half-century got them home.

The Super Kings were unable to qualify for the play-offs but their victory, with seven balls to spare, deprived Kings XI of a chance to make the top four.

CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and asked Kings XI to bat first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and rotated his bowlers with good effect.

KL Rahul (29) and Mayank Agarwal (26) made a slow start and the experienced Chris Gayle (12) was unable to get going, trapped lbw by spinner Imran Tahir (1-24).

Hooda boosted the total with a brutal assault on the Kings XI attack late on as he struck four sixes and three fours and scored his first IPL half-century since 2015 with a strike rate of 206.66

The Super Kings reached 82 without loss from 9.5 overs in their reply before Du Plessis misjudged a slower delivery from Chris Jordan and his attempted ramp shot was comfortably caught by Rahul.

Fellow opener Gaikwad took the initiative from Du Plessis as he hit 62 not out from 49 balls and got CSK over the line with Ambati Rayudu who finished on 30.

 

DU PLESSIS SHOWS HIS CLASS

This was the type of chase that required a disciplined approach with wickets in hand and Du Plessis produced a typically consistent knock, just missing out on a fifth half-century in the tournament. The CSK opener showed all his composure and experience as he rotated the strike cleverly, but with a dash of inventiveness as he scooped Jimmy Neesham for six.

GAYLE'S IPL SWANSONG?

At the age of 41, Gayle's knees are starting to creak and the left-hander was unable to muster a boundary in a scratchy 12 off 19 balls for the Kings XI here. Handed the ball to bowl an almost ceremonial last over will raise questions of whether he is set to bow out. The elder statesman of T20 cricket is still a draw, but he is not getting any younger and if this ends up being his IPL swansong, it was a meek way to go.

Rajasthan Royals came through a six-hitting onslaught from Chris Gayle to beat Kings XI Punjab, keeping them firmly in contention for the Indian Premier League play-offs. 

Gayle surpassed 1,000 career maximums in Twenty20 cricket - the first player to reach that number - before being dismissed for 99, bowled by Jofra Archer (2-26).

The left-hander's wonderful 63-ball knock, coupled with a late cameo from fellow West Indian Nicholas Pooran (22), powered Kings XI to 185-4. 

However, the Royals overhauled that total with seven wickets in hand, moving them level with their fourth-placed opponents on 12 points as the round-robin stage draws towards a close. 

Ben Stokes led the way in the chase with a 26-ball 50 at the top of the order, while Sanju Samson made 48 and Rajasthan skipper Steve Smith finished up unbeaten on 31. 

Jos Buttler hurried his team to their target with two late sixes as he made 22 not out from 11 deliveries, the Royals clinching victory thanks to a Chris Jordan wide midway through the 18th over. 

 

GAYLE LAUNCHES INTO ROYALS

There was to be no 23rd T20 century for Gayle, though the 41-year-old still reached a notable milestone during his innings. He boosted his career sixes total with eight more on Friday, including one off Archer in the 20th over that took him to 1,001.

However, the bowler got his revenge with the next ball, aided by a deflection off bat and pad. Gayle threw his bat after falling just short, then shared a handshake with Archer before departing.

ROYALS RUNNING INTO FORM

Having returned figures of 2-32 with the ball, Stokes gave Rajasthan's reply the early impetus it required. His half-century here followed on from an unbeaten 107 against Mumbai Indians last time out.

The England international appears to be coming into form at the perfect time for the Royals, though they still remain outside the top four in the table. They have one game remaining - against fellow play-off hopefuls Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday - and the fight to qualify could well come down to net run-rate.

Chris Gayle and Mandeep Singh were the stars of the show as Kings XI Punjab defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets to boost their Indian Premier League play-off hopes. 

In reply to 149-9, Kings XI made a somewhat inauspicious start, but Gayle's entrance provided the required spark and subsequently seemed to inspire Mandeep, who was visibly emotional as he passed 50 just a few days after the death of his father. 

KKR's bowlers failed to match the performance of their counterparts, Kings XI sealing an impressive victory that puts them fourth. 

A dreadful start by Kolkata left them staring at a tricky innings as they found themselves 10-3 having lost Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik in the first two overs. 

Shubman Gill (57) and Eoin Morgan (40) soon steadied the ship with a stand of 81, but the tide turned again as Kings XI's spinners took charge. 

Lockie Ferguson (24 not out) was the only other batsman to reach double figures, Varun Chakaravarthy – the last to fall – summing up their struggles as he hit an attempted reverse sweep into his own stumps. 

Kings XI might have been accused of being a little conservative in their chase given they were at 47-1 at the end of the eighth over, when captain KL Rahul fell, but that was the turning point. 

Gayle entered the crease and quickly turned on the style, his successive sixes soon followed by another as he began to toy with the Knight Riders. 

Mandeep reached his half-century in the 16th over to draw rousing applause from his team-mates and finished unbeaten on 66, helped by eight fours and a pair of sixes. 

Gayle was halted on 51 when caught by Prasidh Krishna, but at that point Kings XI needed just three runs and Nicholas Pooran saw them home.

GAYLE TURNS IT UP A NOTCH

While Mandeep will deservedly get much of the attention for the quality of his performance, even more so given his personal situation, Gayle's entry was undoubtedly a key factor. 

Until then, Kings XI had looked a little lacklustre even if they were performing solidly. The 'Universe Boss' provided the oomph they had been missing.

SPINNERS LEAD THE WAY

The target of 150 always looked an entirely reachable one, and for that, much of the credit must go to the Kings XI spinners. That includes Glen Maxwell, who opened the bowling and claimed 1-21.

Rahul's in-form side have now won five on the spin, quickly moving them up the standings at a crucial time in the season. 

Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal combined to help Kings XI Punjab snatch a dramatic victory over Mumbai Indians in Dubai after double Super Over drama.

An extraordinary Indian Premier League match saw both sides post 176-6, with KL Rahul making a terrific 77 for Kings XI, before the teams then managed just five runs each in the first series of extra overs.

Chris Jordan gave away 11 to Mumbai as the second round of Super Overs began, helped by a magnificent piece of boundary fielding from Agarwal who denied Pollard a six from the final ball.

Agarwal caught the ball while in mid-air over the ropes and threw it back into play, athleticism that saved four runs, and after Gayle blasted Trent Boult for six at the start of KXIP's second extra over, it was Agarwal who finished the match with back-to-back boundaries.

Jasprit Bumrah (3-24) had earlier ended Rahul's innings with a scorching delivery at a pivotal point in KXIP's run chase, and Jordan was run out from the final ball of their 20 overs, chasing a second run for victory.

Bumrah limited Kings XI to just 5-2 in six balls of the first Super Over, before Mohammed Shami incredibly kept Mumbai to 5-1 thanks to a set of super yorkers.

After just two wins from their previous eight games this season, the Mohali-based Kings XI had looked poised for more disappointment as momentum repeatedly appeared to swing to their second-placed opponents, only for Gayle and Agarwal to produce the late heroics.

Quinton de Kock made a team-high 53 in Mumbai's innings, which benefited from an explosive seventh-wicket partnership of 57 between Kieron Pollard and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who only came together midway through the 17th over.

Jordan's turning circle

Had Jordan turned and run straight back on a batsman's usual path, he would surely have made his ground for the second run in that 20th over. Instead he swung around in a wide curve at the non-striker's end and ended up charging back bizarrely wide, seemingly taking several unnecessary strides that cost him his wicket. Somehow, he finished on the winning side nonetheless.

Living on the edge

Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma could have found himself facing questions if his early call in KXIP's innings proved pivotal. Boult drew a thin edge from opener Agarwal in the first over that was not spotted by the umpire, and there was no obvious shout from De Kock who gathered the ball safely behind the stumps. Boult was convinced and replays confirmed what he had seen, but Sharma declined the bowler's call for a review. Agarwal perished for 11, presumably sparing Sharma a post-game inquisition.

Chris Gayle made an impact and KL Rahul continued his impressive form as Kings XI Punjab once again come out on top against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Kings XI have found wins hard to come by in 2020 but have now triumphed in both games with Bangalore, albeit only after surviving a late wobble on Thursday. 

Gayle made 53 from 45 balls but was run out from the penultimate delivery with the scores level. That left Nicholas Pooran to come out and face one ball, which he proceeded to launch down the ground for six. 

The eight-wicket victory gives Kings XI renewed hope for the season, though they remain bottom of the table. 

Rahul – who made 132 not out in the previous meeting of the two franchises – finished up unbeaten on 61, in the process extending his lead at the top of the run-scoring table. 

Opening partner Mayank Agarwal weighed in with 45 as Bangalore's total of 171-6 was not quite enough, despite the unexpected final-over drama. 

Virat Kohli had top-scored with 48 but the Royal Challengers struggled to pick up the run-rate, making the decision to leave AB de Villiers down at six in the order even more surprising. 

The South African made just two but compatriot Chris Morris was far more successful in the closing stages, an eight-ball cameo seeing him make 25 not out. 

DE VILLIERS MADE TO WAIT 

De Villiers was at his explosive best against Kolkata Knight Riders last time out, smashing an unbeaten 73 from 33 balls. 

Despite that explosive display of hitting, Bangalore sent both Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube in ahead of him, before he eventually came out with four overs to go.

THE UNIVERSE BOSS IS BACK!

Gayle's involvement in the tournament was delayed by food poisoning, leading to a spell in hospital. He batted in the unfamiliar position of three for Kings XI, coming in after the opening duo had put on 78. 

After a cautious start, the left-hander cut loose with a solitary four and five sixes. Even his demise added a little drama, but Pooran finished the job in style with a maximum off Yuzvendra Chahal. 

Chris Gayle stands by the explosive comments he made about ex-West Indies team-mate Ramnaresh Sarwan and has avoided punishment from the Caribbean Premier League.

Earlier this month, Sarwan described allegations made by Gayle in a controversial video as "scandalous".

The West Indies batsman described his former colleague Sarwan as "worse than the coronavirus" in an April rant on YouTube.

Gayle also branded him "a snake", "evil", "wicked", "poison", "vindictive", "immature", and "despicable".

The remarks came after Gayle – West Indies' leading run scorer in ODIs and Twenty20s – was released by CPL side Jamaica Tallawahs, for whom Sarwan is assistant coach.

In a statement, Gayle insisted he stands by his comments with regard to the way he claims to have been treated, but does regret any damage to the reputation of Cricket West Indies and the CPL.

CPL organisers had asked the 40-year-old batsman, now with St Lucia Zouks, to address the issue, and were satisfied with what he said. They now consider the matter to be closed.

"In so far as my resentment at the treatment, I stand by my comments in those videos," Gayle said.

"I made these videos with one single intention - to explain to the fans in Jamaica the reasons behind what has now become my second departure from the Tallawahs franchise.

"It was my greatest wish to finish my Caribbean Premier League career in Jamaica - playing in front of my home crowd at Sabina Park with the franchise that I had previously led to two CPL titles.

"Having said that, I must be honest and say that I now realise how portions of my comments may be viewed as being damaging to Cricket West Indies, and to the CPL Tournament and its brand.

"[It is] a tournament which I have sincerely enjoyed not just being a part of, but also helping to build and promote. It was never my intention to damage the T20 tournament.

"Playing in the CPL has guaranteed an opportunity for the past seven years to play in front of the great fans of the Caribbean. This is a privilege which I genuinely appreciate and have never taken for granted."

In his response to Gayle’s initial remarks, Sarwan was left stunned, saying he believes them to have caused "immeasurable damage to the gentleman's game of cricket".

He posted on Facebook: "Let me make it abundantly clear, I have played with Gayle from the inception of my international career and I have always respected him as an extraordinary talent, a colleague, and most importantly, a close friend.

"Hence my utter shock by these scandalous allegations - in that video, he has levelled false allegations and tarnished the reputations of a series of persons.

"I was the focus of most of the onslaughts. I reply, not because I feel that Gayle's rantings are worthy of it, but because I feel that the public's record must be set straight and also, to protect the character and careers of so many people, whose image he has sought to besmirch."

A large part of sport's huge appeal is the chance for the seemingly impossible to be achieved.

Shane Long and Chris Gayle realised that potential on April 23, each entering the record books in their respective sports.

Long and Gayle etched their name into the history books for delivering in quick time, but on this date 15 years ago Aaron Rodgers' NFL Draft experience was anything but swift.

Here we look back on some of the most memorable moments from the world of sport to take place on April 23.

 

1991: Borg way past his best on comeback

Having initially retired as an 11-time grand slam champion in 1984, Borg made his return to the tennis court, but was a shadow of his former self.

The 34-year-old proved too slow to compete with Jordi Arrese at the Monte Carlo Open, his Spanish opponent easing to a 6-2 6-3 win in just 78 minutes.

Borg went on to suffer first-round exits in 12 tournaments before putting the racquet down for good.

2005: Niners go with Smith over Rodgers

The San Francisco 49ers held the first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and the sentimental choice was clear.

Quarterback Rodgers, a Northern California native who had starred across the bay from San Francisco in Berkeley for the California Golden Bears and grew up a 49ers fan, was among the cream of the crop.

However, instead of selecting Rodgers, the 49ers went with Utah quarterback Alex Smith, leading to a now-infamous draft-day slide.

Rodgers was eventually selected 24th overall by the Green Bay Packers and, as Smith experienced a rollercoaster career with the Niners, went on to establish himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

He won a Super Bowl with Green Bay at the end of the 2010 season, but revenge over the Niners has not been forthcoming. Rodgers has faced the 49ers three times in the playoffs and lost on all three occasions, including in last season's NFC Championship game.

2013: Universe boss sends records world records tumbling

West Indies star Chris Gayle is famed for his explosive batting, and he delivered in record-breaking fashion seven years ago.

Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, Gayle struck an incredible unbeaten 175 against Pune Warriors.

Hitting 13 fours and a scarcely believable 17 sixes in a memorable 66-ball stay, Gayle set records for the fastest Twenty20 century and the highest T20 score of all time.

It truly was a day on which the self-titled 'Universe Boss' lived up to his moniker.

2019: Shane didn't need long to score

April 23, 2019 is a date Ledley King may want to forget, as the former Tottenham defender saw his record for the fastest Premier League goal broken by Shane Long.

The Southampton striker needed just 7.69 seconds to score in a 1-1 draw with Watford at Vicarage Road.

His effort was over two seconds quicker than King's, who netted for Spurs after 10 seconds against Bradford City back on December 9, 2000.

Sunday was due to see the start of the Indian Premier League in 2020, with champions Mumbai Indians scheduled to take on Chennai Super Kings in a repeat of last year's final.

It was to be the first of 56 group games during the 13th season, the success of the lucrative Twenty20 competition showing no signs of slowing up despite pretenders springing up all over the world hoping to find the same magic formula for success.

However, the coronavirus outbreak put paid to the best-laid plans.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced a postponement until April 15 initially, yet it remains to be seen when – perhaps even if – the campaign will begin, considering the health crisis that is unfolding around the globe.

Still need your IPL fix, though? Why not enjoy a leisurely trip down memory lane to recall some of the notable moments in the tournament's history.

Rashid Khan entered the history books as the first player picked in the draft for the inaugural season of The Hundred, while Andre Russell was snapped up but Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga went unsigned.

Afghanistan spinner Rashid, the ICC's top-ranked Twenty20 bowler, was selected in the top-tier £125,000 bracket by the Trent Rockets to join a team that also includes England Test captain Joe Root, Alex Hales and Australia big-hitter D'Arcy Short.

West Indies' electric all-rounder Andre Russell was the second man chosen and is bound for the Southern Brave, where Australia slogger David Warner and England's lightning paceman Jofra Archer are among his team-mates.

"I'm feeling good, I was nervous before, it's the first time being in the draft in this competition," Russell said. 

"I've got a lot to offer, a 100 ball [format] is definitely see ball, hit ball. I don't have to worry about my head [with Archer as a team-mate]. He's a great character. 

"I will try to just bowl faster than him."

Windies legend Gayle and veteran Sri Lanka quick Malinga will not be involved in the tournament, which starts in July next year, after their reserve prices were not met.

Welsh Fire selected world-class Australian quality with the menacing Mitchell Starc and superstar batsman Steve Smith joining England international Jonny Bairstow.

Northern Superchargers coach Darren Lehmann went with Australian familiarity by selecting Aaron Finch and Chris Lynn. 

Lehmann also chose Mujeeb Ur Rahman for a team that already has England's Cricket World Cup hero Ben Stokes.

Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Amir and Mark Wood link up with Eoin Morgan – who skippered England to World Cup glory – at London Spirit, while classy New Zealand star Kane Williamson and Ravi Bopara are headed to the Birmingham Phoenix.

Manchester Originals landed Imran Tahir for their top-bracket selection, while Sunil Narine offers spin and top-order explosiveness for the Oval Invincibles.

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