Gayle storm struck Mohali as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 15 runs in a pulsating contest. Until Thursday, SRH boasted of a 100 percent win record having won all the matches in Mohali since, 2015. However, all that changed as the mighty Chris Gayle unleashed a scathing attack on the orange army and struck his 6th IPL hundred and the first of season 11. Gayle’s unbeaten 104 of 63 deliveries powered KXIP to a challenging total of 193/3 in 20 overs. In reply, SRH never got going as they lost early wickets and suffered a bigger blow when opener Shikhar Dhawan was retired hurt due to a painful blow on his left hand. Unable to recover from the early setbacks, SRH finally finished their inning at 178, falling short by 15 runs. This resulted in their first loss of the tournament.
Earlier, after winning the toss on batting friendly wickets Ashwin opted to bat first, thereby becoming the first captain to do so this IPL. In first 15 games, all the captains who won the toss had decided to chase. Ominous signs for SRH came early as Gayle was dropped by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. From thereon, the big Jamaican took the attack to the bowlers as KXIP scored 80 runs at the halfway mark. But the game changed in the 14th over of the innings when Gayle smashed 26 runs of Rashid Khan, including 4 sixes. Gayle also became the only other batsmen, apart from AB de Villiers, to hit 4 sixes in an over off Rashid Khan in T20s.
Making them pay for their mistakes, Gayle powered his way to a 58-ball 100. His whirlwind knock featured 11 towering sixes and a solitary boundary. Gayle now has 279 sixes in IPL, which is 100 more than the next best, Rohit Sharma (179).
Chasing 194, SRH lost 2 wickets in the powerplay and could only muster 40 runs in the 6 overs. Shikhar Dhawan’s injury only added to their problems. From thereon SRH had their backs to the wall. A 76-run stand between Manish Pandey and skipper Kane Williamson took Sunrisers close to the target but was not enough to guide them over the finishing line. Barinder Sran and Andrew Tye (2/25) were miserly with the ball as SRH were restricted to 178/4 in 20 overs, handing KXIP a comfortable win.
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