Pooran celebrates WC selection with top score, but Kings XI lose

Friday, April 26, 2019

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BENGALURU, India (CMC) – Left-hander Nicholas Pooran celebrated his selection to West Indies' World Cup squad with his best performance of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but his knock came in a losing effort as Kings XI Punjab went down to Royal Challengers Bangalore by 17 runs here on Wednesday.

Chasing a steep 203 for victory at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Kings XI made a good fist of it, with Pooran top-scoring with 46 from 28 balls and opener Lokesh Rahul smashing 42 from 27 deliveries.

Mayank Agarwal chipped in with 35 while veteran West Indies left-hander Chris Gayle got 23 off just 10 balls at the top of the order.

The 39-year-old Jamaican, who will be playing his fifth World Cup after also being named in the Windies 15-man squad, lashed four fours and a six as he put on 42 off 20 balls with Rahul.

When he holed out to AB de Villiers at long on in the fourth over off seamer Umesh Yadav, two partnerships kept Kings XI going. First, Rahul added a further 59 with Agarwal for the second wicket before Pooran dominated a 68-run fourth wicket stand with South African David Miller (24).

All told, the 23-year-old Pooran counted one four and five sixes before perishing at the end of the penultimate over from pacer Navdeep Saini, when de Villiers clung on to a skyer.

Villiers had earlier stroked a superb unbeaten 82 off 44 balls with three fours and seven sixes as RCB raced to 202 for four off 20 overs.

Australian Marcus Stoinis (46) and opener Parthiv Patel (43) played supporting innings.

Yet again, there was no place in the RCB line-up for World Cup-bound 22-year-old Windies left-hander, Shimron Hetmyer, who was dropped after managing just 15 runs from four innings at the start of the tournament.

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