Gayle bosses Chennai as KXIP seal close victory
- Kings XI Punjab won a thrilling match against Chennai Super Kings by 4 runs.
- Chris Gayle scored 63 runs in his debut game for Kings XI Punjab.
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman bowled 3 overs for just 18 runs in a high scoring game.
A brilliant batting display by Chris Gayle helped Kings XI Punjab trump Chennai Super Kings by 4 runs in a closely fought match at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Gayle and CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni proved age is just a number as they were the highest scorers for their respective teams.
Chris Gayle announced his arrival in the latest VIVO Indian Premier League season by tearing into the Chennai bowlers after a watchful start. He hammered a few big blows down the ground off Harbhajan Singh’s bowling and brought up his fifty in his debut match in Kings’ colours. Along with KXIP’s in-form man, Lokesh Rahul, he added 96 runs for the first wicket in just 8 overs before Rahul struck a full toss to Dwayne Bravo in the covers.
The Universe Boss looked good for another T20 century but fell tamely off Shane Watson’s bowling, bobbing one to short fine leg. Mayank Agarwal and Yuvraj Singh played useful cameos from there before Karun Nair gave the innings a late push to take the Kings to 197 for 7.
|The Gayle Storm was in full force and Chennai had to face the brunt as the Universe Boss dispatched 7 fours and 4 huge sixes on the way to a 33-ball 63.|
Having chased a similar target earlier, CSK came in to bat high on confidence. However, it was the KXIP seamers this time who raised their hand and dismissed both CSK openers, Shane Watson and Murali Vijay, cheaply.
Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin showed his class once again as he trapped Sam Billings leg-before with a lethal leg spinner and then effected a direct hit to get rid of a well set Ambati Rayudu for 49. With CSK reduced to 113 for 4 in the 14th over it looked like an uphill task for the visitors.
|Dhoni proved that he is still one of the best finishers in the game as he anchored the CSK run chase with an unbeaten 79 off 44 balls.|
Some miserly bowling by the Kings XI bowlers tightened the screws but there was a certain MS Dhoni still at the crease. Dhoni dispatched the bowlers to the boundary at will and brought up his IPL career-best 79 runs. But a disciplined last over by Mohit Sharma gave KXIP a narrow 4 run victory.
With Dhoni going all guns blazing it required a heroic heart to take the ball and bowl in the last over. But that’s what Mohit Sharma did and stopped the run carnage with some accurate yorkers outside the off stump, bringing up the eventual victory.
Key Chalda Hai
With 4 points from 3 games so far, KXIP now move into the second place in the points table. They will now host Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday, 19th April.