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IPL 2018, KKR v KXIP: Gayle, Rahul power Punjab to 9-wicket win in rain-curtailed match

India Today logo India Today 21-04-2018 IndiaToday.in

Chris Gayle and KL Rahul continued their good run as openers for Kings XI Punjab and led their team to an emphatic 9-wicket win in the rain-curtailed match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.

Kings XI were looking at a target of 192 at the mid-innings break and started off in top gear as Gayle and Rahul smashed the KKR bowlers to all corners of the ground.

The duo smashed 96 runs in just 8.2 overs when rain interrupted play at the Eden Gardens. After the break Kings XI's target was revised to 125 from 13 overs thanks to their superior run rate. That meant Gayle and Rahul needed to score another 29 runs from 28 balls.

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Gayle again started off with a bang smashing a six off the first ball to bring up his third successive half-century. Rahul also got to his fifty with a six in the very next over but got out afterwards to Sunil Narine on 60 off 27 balls with 9 fours and two sixes.

Gayle though, continued his onslaught and smashed a six to finish the match in 11.1 overs, handing Kings XI their fourth win in five matches. He remained unbeaten on 62 off 38 balls (5x4, 6x6).

The Preity Zinta co-owned team clinched the top spot in the points table as a result with 8 points.

The Jamaican is now the orange cap holder in the tournament with 229 runs in just 3 games and is averaging over 229 for his new franchise.

"I am accustomed to it (about getting the Orange cap). To be honest, I am not worried about the Orange cap.

"I think Rahul deserves it, he's been batting really well. I have been striking well and when you are in the zone, you try to keep the momentum going. I have been doing lot of stretches (about his fitness) and I am enjoying it. It's really good to contribute to the team. Hope to continue this form," Universe Boss said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Fresh from his whirlwind century against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gayle looked in his devastating best and alongwith Rahul started off dealing in boundaries against the KKR pace attack of Shivam Mavi and Andre Russell.

The pair raced to 73 for no loss in Powerplay, and from there on toyed with the home team bowlers.

Also read on MSN: King Gayle is back, so is the swag

To make matters worse for KKR, Andre Russell aggravated his hamstring during bowling and had to leave the field.

Earlier, KKR rode Chris Lynn's 41-ball 74 to post 191/7 in 20 overs against Kings XI Punjab.

The Queenslander, who had scored a 49 against Sunrisers Hyderabad but did not look his swashbuckling best till now, took time to settle down against the spinners and plundered the quicks, smashing six fours and four sixes in his first half-century of IPL-11.

Lynn got a reprieve in the 13th over when when he was on 62, Barinder Sran (2/50) dropping a catch at deep extra cover off Andrew Tye (2/30) but the damage was already done.

Skipper Dinesh Karthik (43; 28b 6x4) gave him good company with a composed knock. The pair stitched together a 62-run partnership off 34 balls for the fourth wicket.

Karthik holed out to Tye at deep backward square off Sran with U-19 World Cup winner Shubman Gill (14 not out) staying on till the end.

(With IANS inputs)

ये भी पढ़ें : वीरू ने खोला राज-आखिर क्यों गेल को आखिरी मौके पर खरीदा

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