Motivated by Hashim Amla's 65-run knock, Kings XI Punjab bowlers bowled brilliantly to help the team break losing streak of four matches as they defeated Gujarat Lions by 25 runs at the at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday.
Chasing a strong target of 189 runs at their home ground, Gujarat made a hesitate start as their openers Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch lost their wickets cheaply for six and 13 runs respectively.
However, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik kept the hope alive for Gujarat’s fans. He slammed unbeaten 58 runs off 44 balls with six boundaries to excite the Rajkot spectators.
Four of Gujarat’s batsmen were dismissed for a single-digit score and no other batsmen managed to impress much with the willow.
For Punjab, Sandeep Sharma, KC Cariappa and Axar patel were the star bowlers as they claimed two wickets each.
Pacer Mohit Sharma took the scalp of Finch to help the KXIP bowlers in assault.
Earlier in Punjab’s innings, it was consistent hitter Hashim Amla who stole all the limelight. The 34-year-old batsman, who scored his maiden IPL century in his last match, continued consistent batting display on Sunday as he scored 65 runs to take KXIP to 188/7 in their innings.
With this, Amla clinched the orange cap after scoring highest 299 runs from seven matches. He hit two sixes and nine boundaries in his illustrious 40-ball knock.
After losing the toss, Punjab struggled to start well as opener Manan Vohra lost his wicket cheaply for two runs.
However, Shaun Marsh (30) and Amla stabilised Punjab after early blow as the pair put 70-run stand for the second-wicket partnership.
Captain Glenn Maxwell and Axar Patel contributed 31 and 34 runs respectively to help KXIP heap a competitive total.
Gujarat pacer Andrew Tye claimed two wickets in the shape of Marsh and Marcus Stoinis (7).
Shubham Agarwal, Nathu Singh and Dwane Smith supported Tye in the pace attack after taking the scalp of Amla, Vohra and Patel respectively.
Tweaker Ravindra Jadeja trapped skipper Maxwell LBW to join the party.