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Chris Gayle ton sets up 15-run win for Kings XI Punjab over Sunrisers Hyderabad

Kings XI Punjab rode on Chris Gayle’s unbeaten ton to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 15 runs in their IPL 2018 clash in Mohali on Thursday

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2018 08:24 IST
Shalini Gupta
Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad,IPL 2018,Indian Premier League
Chris Gayle’s unbeaten 104 off 63 balls set up a 15-run win for Kings XI Punjab against Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL 2018 match in Mohali on Thursday.(AFP)

Chris Gayle was picked by Kings XI Punjab at the end of the player auction, and did not get to play from the start. The Jamaican enforcer showed on Thursday that his power-hitting hasn’t waned as he lashed the first century of this Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday. (KXIP v SRH HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

Gayle’s 63-ball 104 not out, his sixth IPL century, powered Kings XI Punjab to a 15-run victory over 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in their final home game.

KXIP finished on 193/3, skipper R Ashwin having bucked the trend by electing to bat on winning the toss. Sunrisers finished on 178/4, skipper Kane Williamson (54) and Manish Pandey (57 no) unable to help the team chase down the stiff target.

Needing 194 to win, SRH suffered an early setback when Shikhar Dhawan was forced to retire hurt after pacer Barinder Sran’s delivery struck him on his left elbow before opening his account.

Sunrisers were 40 for two at the end of the six powerplay overs, Mohit Sharma bagging both wickets by removing Wriddhiman Saha (6) and Yusuf Pathan (19), who was promoted to force the pace of scoring.

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Gayle storm

Chris Gayle took off from where he had left in the previous game against Chennai Super Kings in Mohali. The beefy batsman pummelled the Sunrisers bowlers. His innings had one four but 11 sixes, but what stood out was Gayle wasn’t averse to running between the wickets either.

As Gayle walked off to the dressing room, he received a standing ovation from the crowd and was applauded by the Sunrisers Hyderabad team dugout.

Speaking after the innings, Gayle said: “A lot of people thought I’m too old. After this innings, I have nothing to prove. This 100 is dedicated to my daughter (Blush). It’s her birthday tomorrow.

Gayle, who scored at a strike rate of 165.07, explained the secret of his improved fitness. “I’m very dedicated. Since joining Kings XI Punjab, Sehwag (team mentor) told me to stick with the yoga guy and a massage guy. That’s the secret, I guess.

“In a week’s time, I will be able to touch my toes.”

Kings XI Punjab’s score is the highest total against SRH this IPL, the 147 runs by Mumbai Indians was the best in three games against the former champions.

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The 38-year-old Caribbean batsman showed his mettle, clobbering Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers all around the ground and entertaining the crowd with massive sixes.

Gayle removed the tag of the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers being the most affective in the competition as he targetted the Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan. He smashed the youngster for four sixes in one over as he went for 55 runs in his four overs, taking one wicket.

Gayle and KL Rahul (18) added 53 runs for the opening wicket before Rashid Khan trapped the latter in front. Mayank Agarwal also fell for 18, Siddharth Kaul removing him.

However, Karun Nair scored a 21-ball 31 and ably supported Gayle until the death overs, the pair raising an 85-run stand for the third wicket.

Later, Aaron Finch hit a six-ball 14, helping Kings XI Punjab get close to 200. Rashid Khan proved the most expensive bowler.

Kings XI Punjab think tank must be delighted to have bought Gayle at the base price of Rs 2 crore in the IPL auction.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 20:24 IST