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20 April 2018, 12:59 | Stacy Ballard
IPL 2018: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul guide KXIP to mammoth win over KKR
The Kings XI Punjab have won 2 out of their 3 matches and after denying MS Dhoni's attempt to win a thrilling game at Mohali the other day, would be feeling pretty confident about their campaign. The New Zealand cricketer racked up an impressive half-century, but, Andrew Tye got rid of him soon after, which made the task even more daunting for the Sunrisers. SRH will need them to score big runs to post a challenging total on the board.
Earlier, Gayle struck a 63-ball 104, laced with 11 sixes and a boundary to set the jam-packed stadium on fire.
Punjab bowling attack has Ashwin, Mohit Sharma and Mujeeb, Axar Patel and Andrew Tye but their secret weapon is the 17-year-old spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman. For the statistically-inclined, this was Gayle's 21st century in T20 cricket, which is exactly three times the number of hundreds the next batsman in the list has. A knock which included 11 sixes and just a solitary four, this was the first 100 of the season.
Williamson used eight overs of spin, and those produced a whopping 99 runs. Co-owned by Preity Zinta, the KXIP defeated star-studded Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by four runs in its previous game.
Punjab now as high up as third in the table and more importantly high in confidence as well.
Short-ball ploy worked well for them. His best performance is against his current team KXIP, against whom he had scored 797 runs at an average of 53.13. Kane Williamson, the captain of the Sunrisers, sported his expertise in making crucial strategy in the field.
Yusuf Pathan (19 off 13 balls), who was dropped on 5 by Yuvraj Singh, became Mohit's second wicket in the fifth over. It was impossible to make a comeback from that stage as Sunrisers succumbed to defeat by 15 runs.
But KXIP exposed the chink in SRH's armory - batting that's heavily reliant on Shikhar Dhawan.
Chasing 194 for victory, Sunrisers could only manage to get 178 for 4 in 20 overs to lose their first match this season out of four games played.
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