Gujarat Lions rode on some powerful batting to defeat Kings XI Punjab by six wickets in their Indian Premier League match here yesterday. Chasing a challenging target of 190 runs, Gujarat romped home with two deliveries to spare.
Gujarat have eight points from 12 matches, while Punjab remain on 10 points from 11 matches. Dwayne Smith played a starring role for Gujarat, smashing 74 runs off a mere 39 deliveries, hitting eight boundaries and four sixes.
Smith and Ishan Kishan gave Gujarat chase a rocking start, producing a opening partnership of 91 runs in just 9.2 overs before Punjab pacer Thangarasu Natarajan dismissed Kishan. Smith followed him back to the pavilion a couple of overs later when he was dismissed by Glenn Maxwell.
Skipper Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthick then helped Gujarat get near the target with a 42-run stand which came off 35 balls before the former out to Sandeep Sharma delivery. Finch was also dismissed later in the same over. But Karthick and Ravindra Jadeja ensured that Gujarat achieved in the last over.
Earlier, a century from Hashim Amla and a half-century by Shaun Marsh helped Kings XI Punjab post 189/3. Amla plundered 104 runs off 60 balls with eight boundaries and five sixes before being trapped lbw by an yorker from Basil Thampi on the penultimate ball of the innings. This was his second hundred in the IPL. Amla was also involved two crucial partnerships with Marsh and Maxwell. Marsh made 58 runs with six boundaries studding his 43-ball knock. Gujarat pacers Thampi, Pradeep Sangwan and Dhawal Kulkarni picked up a wicket each.
Asked to bat first, Punjab were off to a slow start as Sangwan struck in the very first over as Martin Guptill was cuaght by Thampi. However, Amla and Marsh helped the hosts shake off the early jitters and steadied the innings with a 125-run partnership in 89-balls.
Kulkarni finally brought the stand to an end, dismissing Marsh with a slower delivery. Thanks to big hitting Amla and excellent support from the other end by Maxwell, the Punjab run rate showed no signs of slowing down. The duo added 50 runs between them off 25 balls with Amla doing most of the scoring.
The 34-year-old reached his century in style, smashing Thampi for a six over the cover boundary. However, Thampi made a superb comeback, pitching an accurate yorker right in the block hole to trap Amla leg before. Maxwell remained unbeaten on 20 runs off 11 deliveries which included two sixes.
Kings XI Punjab 189 for 3 in 20 overs
(Hashim Amla 104, Shaun Marsh 58) lost to Gujarat Lions 190 for 4 in 19.4 overs (Dwayne Smith 74, Ishan Kishan 29, Suresh Raina 39, Dinesh Karthik not out 31; Sandeep Sharma 2-29) by 6 wickets
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