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IPL 2018 – Chris Gayle blasts ton as Kings XI Punjab inflict first defeat on Sunrisers

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Kings XI Punjab : Chris Gayle blasted a sixth IPL hundred, and a first for Kings XI Punjab as they inflicted a first defeat on Sunrisers Hyderabad in this year’s tournament with a 15-run win in Mohali, on Thursday.

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Gayle (104no) smashed as many as 11 sixes, to only one boundary, in his staggering 63-ball knock, continuing his fine individual form following a fifty on his Kings XI debut against the Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.  Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI Punjab
Chris Gayle blasts ton in Mohali

Chasing 194, Sunrisers never came close to challenging for a fourth win in four, lacking the type of explosive hitting of Gayle’s at the top of the order.

Captain Kane Williamson cracked 54 from 41 balls, but big-hitting Shikhar Dhawan had to retire hurt first ball after taking a painful blow on the elbow, and Sunrisers slipped too far behind the required rate.  Kings XI Punjab

For a third game running, Kings XI batted first – this time electing to after winning the toss – but they struggled for fluency early on in their innings, playing and missing, and inside- and leading-edging balls to belie Gayle’s latter big-hitting heroics.

But, the innings exploded into life in the fourth over when Gayle slapped England’s Chris Jordan (0-31) – in for his first game of this year’s IPL – for a six and a four off consecutive deliveries.

Gayle was dropped in the next over, when on 14, off Rashid Khan’s first ball – a difficult chance that went through quickly to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps and was put down.

At the other end, KL Rahul (18 off 21 balls) wasn’t quite looking the same force that saw him score an IPL-record 14-ball fifty in Kings XI’s first game, ultimately falling lbw to Rashid in the eighth over.   Kings XI Punjab

Rashid (1-55) would get some tap in his next over, however, as Gayle muscled the Afghanistan legspinner for four straight sixes, obliterating his figures.

Gayle would manage only two more maximums in the final six overs of the innings, with the 38-year-old seemingly tiring as he brought up his century – the first in this year’s IPL – but Karun Nair (31 off 21) and Aaron Finch (14no off 6) did their bit to fire Kings XI up to a strong score of 193-3.

Kings XI Punjab
Kane Williamson hit fifty for Sunrisers but couldn’t prevent them from slipping to a first IPL defeat of the season (Credit: AFP)

The Sunrisers reply got off to a disastrous start when Dhawan departed to injury off only the fifth ball, having been hit by a Barinder Sran delivery that reared up on his elbow. Saha then fell in the second over, bowled by Mohit Sharma (2-51).

But, Williamson, as he tends to, made batting look very easy, going through to a chanceless fifty off 39 balls. Even so, Sunrisers were slipping badly behind the required run-rate and, needing a massive 85 from the final six overs, the skipper’s hand was forced and he perished in Andrew Tye’s next over when looking for the big shot over long-off, only to hole out.   Kings XI Punjab

Tye claimed a further scalp in Deepak Hooda to return impressive figures of 2-23 from his four overs and, while Manish Pandey (57no off 42) reached fifty and Shakib Al Hasan (24no off 12) cracked a couple of sixes, Sunrisers never threatened Kings XI’s total in the closing overs.

{Keywords : Kings XI Punjab IPL 2018, IPL 2018, Sunrisers Hyderbad IPL 2018}

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