• Rajasthan Royals chased down KXIP's target of 224 with three balls remaining
  • The previous run-chase record in the IPL was 215, which was also held by RR
  • RR's Sanju Samson was awarded the Player of the Match on Sunday

Rajasthan Royals (RR) recorded the highest-ever successful chase at the Indian Premier League (IPL) during their match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday.

The openers, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, powered KXIP to 223 for two in 20 overs in the first innings. The two posted a 183-run opening stand -- the second-highest stand for KXIP after Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh’s 206-run partnership for the second wicket that the Aussie duo scored against RCB in IPL 2011.

Out of the 183-run partnership, Rahul scored 77 and Agarwal scored 106, which was also his second-highest T20 score after his maiden T20 ton (111 runs). It was also Agarwal’s maiden century in the IPL, and overall, second T20 ton.

In the second innings, RR chased down the target of 224 with four wickets and three balls remaining. The Rajasthan franchise bettered the previous record, which was also set by them 16 years ago when they had successfully chased Deccan Chargers’ target of 215 in the inaugural IPL edition in 2008.

After KXIP bowler Sheldon Cottrell drew first blood with the wicket of RR’s opening batsman Jos Buttler, the duo of Steven Smith and Sanju Samson took charge of RR’s chase. They put up 81 runs for the second wicket before RR captain Smith was sent back to the pavilion in the ninth over. Smith registered his second straight half-century of IPL 2020 as he scored a 27-ball 50 on Sunday. His knock was inclusive of two sixes and seven boundaries.

Fans watch a match between England and Afghanistan at Old Trafford during the 2019 Cricket World Cup
Fans watch a match between England and Afghanistan at Old Trafford during the 2019 Cricket World Cup AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar

The eventual Player of the Match, Samson, hammered seven sixes and four boundaries during his 42-ball 85. When Indian pacer Mohammed Shami dismissed Samson in the 17th over, it looked like RR would suffer a collapse. Rahul Tewatia, who was on the other end, had already wasted many deliveries. He failed to score a boundary in his first 19 balls and had managed to score just 17 runs off his first 23 deliveries.

However, the turning point for RR in the match was the 18th over that was bowled by Sheldon Cottrell and Tewatia was on the strike. The 27-year-old smashed five sixes off Cottrell’s over and as a result, RR needed 21 runs off the final two overs. Tewatia ended up scoring a 31-ball 53 and RR clinched a thriller victory in Sharjah.