IPL 2017: Axar Patel, Hashim Amla guide Kings XI Punjab to win vs Gujarat Lions
Hashim Amla scored 65 as Kings XI Punjab posted 188/7 against Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match. In reply, GL could manage only 162/7 as Axar Patel took 2/36.ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 23, 2017 20:53 IST
Axar Patel’s all-round effort helped Kings XI Punjab end their four-game losing streak by recording a 26-run win over Gujarat Lions in the 26th match of the 2017 Indian Premier League at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday. (GL vs KXIP: T20 MATCH BLOG)
Patel first scored a brisk 17-ball 34, laced with three boundaries and two sixes, and then accounted for in-form Suresh Raina (33) and Dwayne Smith (4) to break the back of Gujarat Lions’ batting from which they never recovered. (GL vs KXIP: T20 SCORECARD)
Patel, who has been Kings XI Punjab’s top performer in this edition of the IPL, finished with figures of 2/36. He was well supported by spinning partner KC Cariappa (2/24). Gujarat Lions could manage just 162 for seven in 20 over while chasing a target of 189.
In the process, 23-year-old Patel upstage India teammate Ravindra Jadeja in both departments. While Jadeja bowled well he failed to land telling blows like Patel did. While batting, he once again came a cropper when the chips were down.
Gujarat Lions’ poor start
Gujarat Lions got off to a bad start, losing Brendon McCullum in the very first over as he misread a full-toss from Sandeep Sharma and was adjudged LBW and they kept losing wickets at crucial junctures which didn’t help their cause.
Kings XI Punjab batting coach J Arunkumar on the eve of the match had spoken about of hitting the right areas and that’s what their bowlers did on Sunday. And whenever Gujarat Lions were threating to hit big shot, they were falling into traps set by Kings XI skipper Glenn Maxwell.
The perfect example of it was Raina’s wicket. With field packed in the on the off side, Raina tried to drag one over mid-wicket but he holed out to Maxwell, the only man on the leg side boundary.
Patel, who was sidelined due to a serious thumb injury, returned to action just before the IPL and has been bowling well since. While it’s highly unlikely he will make it to the India squad for the Champions Trophy in June, he is making a good case for himself.
Cariappa, who was Kings XI Punjab’s most economical bowler on the night, was brought back into to squad to shore up their bowling line-up and he didn’t disappoint, using his variations well to keep a tight leash on Gujarat Lions’ batsmen in the middle overs.
Dinesh Karthik, who scored an unbeaten 44-ball 58 scored, tried his best but with Gujarat Lions having already lost their best batsmen he was out of partners to pull them through. Andrew Tye’s 12-ball 22 brightened Gujarat’s hopes but he was castled by Sandeep Sharma which diminished Gujarat Lions’ hopes chasing down Kings XI Punjab’s total of 188.
Hashim Amla’s half-century
Earlier, Hashim Amla’s 40-ball 65 helped Kings XI Punjab post 188. It was his second big innings on the trot after century against Mumbai Indians in the previous match. While that one didn’t result in victory, this one did. The South African opener was also adjudged the Man of the Match for his classy innings which included nine boundaries and two sixes.
The victory keeps Kings XI Punjab in hunt for the playoffs spot. As far as Gujarat Lions are concerned, they will need a herculean task in their next seven games if they have to harbour any hope of making it to the playoffs.