The West Indian refused singles and played out four dots, but off the 5th ball of the Afghanistan captain's final over, he tragically spooned one to point. Pooran trudged off disconsolate, and he would struggle to break into a smile while picking up a plethora of individual awards in the post-match presentation.
The soft dismissal would serve as the final nail in the coffin for KXIP, for whom nothing went right on the night. Jonny Bairstow's attacking 97 was ably supported by David Warner, before Rashid Khan ensured that pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence wasn't heavily felt by SRH.
Many players failed to impress in this game - Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Sheldon Cottrell struggled to offer penetration of any form, while Mandeep Singh and Manish Pandey didn't add too many runs to their IPL 2020 tally.
However, these 3 players were arguably the worst performers from the SRH vs KXIP IPL 2020 game.
#3 Glenn Maxwell (KXIP)
According to reports, T20 batting great Chris Gayle was on track to feature in his first IPL 2020 game, and it was speculated that the West Indian would replace the out-of-form Glenn Maxwell. But with Gayle suffering from a bout of sickness (as confirmed by KXIP coach Anil Kumble), the Australian was handed a rope that had already been lengthened beyond logic.
Maxwell started off well in his first over with the ball in hand, but was inexplicably taken out of the attack by his skipper Rahul. The all-rounder returned a few overs later with Bairstow and Warner now even firmer in their ascendancy, and he was launched to all corners of the ground by the Englishman. After conceding 26 runs in his 2 overs, the final straw the 10.75-crore buy could have grasped at was his floundering batting.
Maxwell came in at No. 5 with the required run rate rapidly skyrocketing, and his 12-ball 7 did nothing to help the KXIP cause. A run out brought the 31-year-old's nightmare game - and perhaps his IPL 2020 campaign - to a close.
#2 Abdul Samad (SRH)
Heralded as one of the biggest hitters in the newest generation of talented young Indian cricketers, Jammu and Kashmir's latest IPL representative Abdul Samad strolled in at the fall of the first SRH wicket with the score reading 160/1 after 15.1 overs.
With a foundation as solid as this, the 18-year-old had the freedom to play the big shots and repay the faith that the SRH management showed in him by sending him in ahead of Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson.
However, Samad struggled during his 7-ball stay at the crease - he was dropped by Nicholas Pooran on the long-off boundary before he found a fielder in the deep off a rank long-hop from Ravi Bishnoi.
Much like Maxwell, the all-rounder had the opportunity to make up for his failures in one department with his prowess in the other. Handed the ball after Abhishek Sharma was carted for a couple of sixes by Pooran, Samad was even worse than his young teammate as he went for 28 runs (1 four and 4 sixes) in his only over.
Luckily for SRH, they didn't need to get another two overs from their fifth and sixth bowling options.
#1 KL Rahul (KXIP)
KXIP had registered only 1 win in 5 IPL 2020 games prior to this one, and young captain KL Rahul had a job on his hands to inspire his team to an unlikely victory. Unfortunately for the Karnataka batsman, he had one of his worst showings this year.
Shuffling his bowlers at an alarming rate without much reason, Rahul almost let slip the game in the first 15 overs of the SRH innings. His alterations in personnel failed, his bowling changes lacked effectiveness, and he even dropped a difficult catch that would've sent Bairstow back to the pavilion.
Although KXIP pulled things back slightly in the final 5 overs, the 28-year-old still needed to lead his team in their charge towards a daunting 201-run target. But Rahul failed miserably in that regard - he first sold Mayank Agarwal down the river in the 2nd over, and then played a careless sweep during an Abhishek Sharma over that had already gone for two sixes only to hole out in the deep.
Expectedly, the majority of KXIP's middle order didn't offer much resistance as they folded for just 132 runs. KL Rahul's side are rooted to the bottom of the IPL 2020 points table with just 1 win in 6 games, and both the team and their captain look bereft of ideas and confidence.
Published 09 Oct 2020, 00:27 IST