- Kings XI Punjab outplayed SRH with both bat and ball, finishing with an easy 15-run victory.
- Chris Gayle was the hero for KXIP with an unbeaten hundred.
- Andrew Tye and Mohit Sharma finished with 2 wickets apiece.
Exactly ten years after playing their first ever Indian Premier League match, Kings XI Punjab closed off a comfortable win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Mohali’s Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra stadium on Thursday. Chris Gayle scored the season’s first century for Kings XI Punjab and Andrew Tye picked up two wickets for 23 runs, stifling Hyderabad’s efforts completely.
@SunRisers bowling unit hasn’t conceded a single 50+ partnership in this tournament,so far. @lionsdenkxip on the other hand have two 50+ opening partnership in their 1st three games.Can #SRH maintain their record or #KXIP wil make it 3 or 4 opening partnership? What do you think?— Reena Dsouza (@MCReenaDsouza) 19 April 2018
After winning the toss, Kings XI captain Ravichandran Ashwin made the unusual decision to bat first. On a batting friendly wicket, where the dew factor could have come into play, Ashwin’s decision could easily have backfired. But the Universe Boss Chris Gayle made sure he justified his captain’s judgement by smashing the first VIVO Indian Premier League century of the season.
|It was the Chris Gayle show all the way at Mohali as the attacking left hander turned it on with an unbeaten 104 off just 63 balls. His slowest century of the IPL, but definitely one filled with great resolve.
Karun Nair gave the big man good support from the other end with a 20-ball 31 but it was a day that clearly belonged to Gayle. He thumped the bowlers all around the park and helped himself to 12 boundaries, one four and 11 huge sixes.
Gayle displayed great resolve throughout his innings, showing his willingness to rotate the strike and stay at the crease till the end. His knock set up the KXIP innings nicely and the team managed to reach 193 runs with the loss of just 3 wickets.
Not facing an excessively imposing target, Sunrisers Hyderabad could have run off to a flyer but Kings XI Punjab’s opening bowler Barinder Sran ensured the team was given no such concessions. He bowled 3 overs in his first spell giving just 9 runs.
|Kings XI Punjab had set a decent target but the big hitters of Hyderabad had to be kept quiet early to really seal the victory for the team. It was young left-arm pacer Barinder Sran who took over that responsibility, bowling a good line and length to restrict the Sunrisers to a below par score in the powerplay overs.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Hyderabad’s leading run scorer Shikhar Dhawan had to retire hurt off the first ball he faced after trying to cut a ball that got big on him. In his absence, the Sunrisers just did not have enough fire power to force the pace against a disciplined KXIP bowling attack. SRH captain Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey scored fighting half centuries, but neither batsman was able to get after the bowling as the required run rate kept climbing.
|Facing a daunting chase in the absence of the in-form Shikhar Dhawan, someone from the Sunrisers had to take charge and that man was their skipper Kane Williamson who scored a brave half century, albeit in a losing cause.
The KXIP pacers stepped up on a day where the spinners got taken for a few runs, taking 4 wickets between them. Andrew Tye kept things quiet in the later stages of the innings and picked up two key wickets of Kane Williamson and Deepak Hooda to ensure that Sunrisers Hyderabad were too far behind in the chase throughout. They eventually lost by 15 runs.
Key Chalda Hai?
After beating Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab are now in the third position in the leader board with 6 points from 4 games. They now face current table toppers Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, 21st of April in their home ground, Eden Gardens.