Another Amla Hundred, Another Defeat for Kings XI; This Time to Gujarat

Gujarat Lions (GL) played the role of party spoilers perfectly by handing playoff hopefuls Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) a six-wicket defeat and making qualification a touch harder with three matches left to play. Dinesh Karthik hit the winning runs for the visitors, who had been provided a solid start by Dwayne Smith [74 off 39 balls; 8×4 and 4×6] and Ishan Kishan (29) in the 190-run chase.

Smith, who has endured a bad IPL season, played a substantial knock and made the equation considerably easier for his team. Smith was offered a couple of lives by Kings XI, who were shoddy on the field. They dropped a handful of catches on this night and were made to pay heavily by Smith, in particular, who went on to score 31 more runs in the 14 balls he faced after being given a second life by David Miller. Smith won the man-of-the-match award for his typical knock.

Batting at No. 3, Suresh Raina garnered runs with utter ease as he has over the years in the IPL, scoring 39 (25) and making his present felt in the middle. He fell to Sandeep Sharma on the first ball of the 18th over, the fourth ball of which brought another wicket (Aaron Finch) too, to infuse tension into proceedings ahead of the final two overs. Then, with 24 runs needed for victory from the final 12 balls, Karthik, who had made a slow start, found the boundary on three occasions and took his team over the line with two balls to spare.

After two high-quality bowling performances back-to-back, against Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI’s bowlers had an off night, with none of them able to string together a tight spell at any stage of the Gujarat innings.

Conspicuously, Hashim Amla’s second IPL hundred and the second one of this season went in vain, just as the first one. The South African struck a stylish 104 off 60 balls (8×4 and 5×6) and was involved in a couple of big partnerships—125 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh [58 runs off 43 balls; 6×4] and 60 for the third wicket with Glenn Maxwell [20 off 11 balls; 2×6]—that were vital to Kings XI reaching the total they did.

Amla began slowly and took the time to get used to nature of the surface. But as his innings progressed, he had a better rhythm about his batting and found the boundary on a consistent basis. Alongside Amla, Marsh caught the eye as well with stylish strokes all round the dial.

Gujarat, though, weren’t put under the pump by Amla and Marsh, the Kings XI batting pair who tended to score at about 8-8.50 runs per over. But because the Gujarat bowlers had not picked wickets, the likes of Amla, Marsh and Maxwell, later on in the piece, were able to throw their hands at every delivery almost during the final quarter of Punjab innings. And, on this night, Punjab batsmen’s hit-and-see tactic paid off handsomely.

Kings XI’s position on the table (5th) hasn’t changed because of this result, but by losing, Maxwell’s men have put themselves into a situation which necessitates them to win their three remaining matches to stand a good chance of making the last four.

Gujarat played to their strength, which is the batting, by winning the toss and choosing to field first. And, even though their bowlers conceded 20 more runs than what the batsmen would have liked to chase, the mainstays of the batting line-up delivered the goods and helped their team register a satisfactory victory.

Kings XI Punjab vs Gujarat Lions, 47th Match Scorecard

Playing XIs

Kings XI: 1. Glenn Maxwell (c), 2. Hashim Amla, 3. Martin Guptill, 4. Gurkeerat Singh Mann, 5. Shaun Marsh, 6. Wriddhiman Saha, 7. Axar Patel, 8. Mohit Sharma, 9. Sandeep Sharma, 10. Varun Aaron, and 11. Thangarasu Natarajan

Gujarat: 1. Suresh Raina (c), 2. Dwayne Smith, 3. Ishan Kishan, 4. Dinesh Karthik, 5. Aaron Finch, 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. James Faulkner, 8. Dhawal Kulkarni, 9. Basil Thampi, 10. Pradeep Sangwan, and 11. Ankit Soni


Punjab: 189/3 (Amla 104 and Marsh 58; Sangwan 1/28)
Gujarat: 192/4 (Smith 74 and Raina 39; Sandeep 2/29)

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) innings (toss: Gujarat, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Martin Guptill caught Thampi, bowled Sangwan 2 (5) 0 0 40.00
Hashim Amla leg before wicket Thampi 104 (60) 8 5 173.33
Shaun Marsh caught Finch, bowled Kulkarni 58 (43) 6 0 134.88
Glenn Maxwell not out 20 (11) 0 2 181.81
Axar Patel not out 2 (1) 0 0 200.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Wriddhiman Saha, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Varun Aaron, and Thangarasu Natarajan
Extras: 3 (3 wides)
KXIP’s total: 189/3 in 20 overs, at 9.45 runs per over
KXIP’s fall of wickets: 2/1 (Guptill, 0.5), 127/2 (S Marsh, 15.4) and 187/3 (Amla, 19.5)
Gujarat Lions (GL) bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Pradeep Sangwan 3 8 28 1 9.33
Dhawal Kulkarni 4 9 24 1 6.00
Basil Thampi 4 2 48 1 12.00
James Faulkner 4 2 43 0 10.75
Ravindra Jadeja 2 1 19 0 9.50
Ankit Soni 3 3 27 0 9.00
Gujarat innings (target: 190 runs in 20 overs, at 9.50 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Dwayne Smith caught Guptill, bowled Maxwell 74 (39) 8 4 189.74
Ishan Kishan caught Miller (sub), bowled Natarajan 29 (24) 3 0 120.83
Suresh Raina caught Gurkeerat, bowled Sandeep 39 (25) 4 1 156.00
Dinesh Karthik not out 35 (23) 2 1 152.17
Aaron Finch caught Saha, bowled Sandeep 2 (2) 0 0 100.00
Ravindra Jadeja not out 7 (6) 0 0 116.66
Batsmen who didn’t bat: James Faulkner, Basil Thampi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pradeep Sangwan, and Ankit Soni
Extras: 6 (1 no-ball, 2 wides and 3 leg byes)
GL’s total: 192/4 in 19.4 overs, at 9.76 runs per over
GL’s fall of wickets: 91/1 (Kishan, 9.2), 120/2 (Smith, 11.2), 162/3 (Raina, 17.1), and 165/4 (Finch, 17.4)
Punjab bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Sandeep Sharma 4 9 29 2 7.25
Mohit Sharma 4 4 35 0 8.75
Varun Aaron 4 6 43 0 10.75
Axar Patel 3 1 29 0 9.67
Glenn Maxwell 2 3 21 1 10.50
Thangarasu Natarajan 2.4 4 32 1 12.00

Your opinion...