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Kings XI Punjab return to top four with convincing win over Gujarat Lions

Axar Patel scored a brisk 34 and picked two wickets as well
Axar Patel scored a brisk 34 and picked two wickets as well

Kings XI Punjab 188-7 (Amla 65) beat
Gujarat Lions 162-7 (Karthik 58no) by 26 runs
26th match, Indian Premier League, Rajkot

Hashim Amla scored a quick 65-run knock while Axar Patel smashed 34 runs and contributed with a two-wicket haul as well to seal a 26 run victory for Kings XI Punjab against Gujarat Lions in the 26th game of Indian Premier League at Rajkot.

This is their first win away from home this season and have moved into the top four while Gujarat Lions are struck at bottom.

Hashim Amla (65) continued from where he left against Mumbai Indians and struck two boundaries in the first over after Gujarat Lions won the toss and decided to field first.

Nathu Singh (1-7) provided the initial breakthrough when he had Manan Vohra (2) caught behind in the second over. Amla continued his onslaught and had the support of Shaun Marsh (30) as the duo took the total to 50 for one at the end of the powerplay.

With a six and a four in the eighth over, Marsh brought the 50-run stand with Amla , who also plundered 13 runs in the next over. Andrew Tye (2-35) ended the 70-run stand for the second wicket with the dismissal of Marsh and at the halfway mark, Punjab reached 88 for two.

Amla reached his fifty off 30 deliveries while Glenn Maxwell (31) upped the run rate with three sixes in his first 15 deliveries. Shubham Agarwal (1-42) ended Amla's 40-ball when he held a return catch and soon Maxwell was trapped LBW by Ravindra Jadeja (1-32).

Just as Gujarat Lions bowlers were gaining control, Axar Patel's (34) 17-ball cameo helped Kings XI Punjab post 188 for seven in their 20 overs. The fact that Nathu did not return to bowl after his initial spell due to cramps did not help Gujarat's cause either.

In the chase, Gujarat lost Brendon McCullum (3) and Aaron Finch (13) early but Suresh Raina (32) helped the home side post 50 for two at the end of the powerplay.

Axar (2-36) provided the decisive blow when he had Raina caught in the boundary and it dented Gujarat's momentum as they lost Ravindra Jadeja (9), Dwayne Smith (4) and Nath (0) in quick succession.

Despite a half-century from Dinesh Karthik (58 not out) and a cameo from Tye (22), Gujarat managed just 162 for seven in their 20 overs, losing the game by 26 runs. Amla was awarded the man of the match for his handy knock at the top.

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