Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 12 (ANI): After playing a brilliant knock of 64 runs off just 28 balls against Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday, Punjab Kings' batsman Deepak Hooda said that his side has posted a good total and they should be able to defend it as there is no dew.
KL Rahul's calm and composed knock, aided by Hooda's belligerent hitting, helped Punjab Kings post a total of 221/6 against Rajasthan Royals.
"I was just reacting to the ball and showing aggressive intent in my batting. I got this role at No. 4 and I am happy to get this role, as I bat at this position in domestic cricket. There was no dew, the ball is holding up on the wicket for a bit. The score is quite good and we should be able to defend it," Hooda told host broadcaster Star Sports at the midway mark.
Rahul scored 91 runs off just 50 balls while Hooda set the Wankhede on fire with his 64-run knock from just 28 deliveries with the help of 4 fours and 6 sixes. Chris Gayle also chipped in with a valuable 40.
Put into bat, Punjab didn't have a great start as they lost Mayank Agarwal in the third over of the innings. Left-armer Chetan Sakariya, who was playing his first match for the Royals, dismissed Agarwal at his individual score of 14. Gayle then joined Rahul in the middle and the duo kept on ticking the scoreboard steadily and Punjab's score read 46/1 after the end of the powerplay.
Gayle changed his gears with the introduction of the spinners in the bowling attack. However, Riyan Parag cut short Gayle's (40) innings as he had the left-handed batsman caught at the hands of Ben Stokes at long-on, reducing Punjab to 89/2. Hooda was sent ahead of Nicholas Pooran at number four and the right-hander justified the call as he dispatched RR spinners to all parts of the ground.
Hooda and Rahul continued with their carnage in the death overs and Rajasthan bowlers were left searching for answers. In the 18th over, Hooda (64) was finally sent back to the pavilion by Chris Morris and this brought an end to the 105-run stand between Hooda and Rahul. (ANI)