Gayle’s powerful 99 for Punjab goes in vain
The Rajasthan Royals strung together four good partnerships to score a seven-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab, whose five-game winning streak came to an end in Abu Dhabi on Friday night. The successful chase negated Chris Gayle's powerful 99 (63 balls) which lifted Punjab to a formidable total of 185/4. His 120-run second-wicket partnership with skipper KL Rahul (46 off 41) formed the cornerstone of Punjab’s total after they lost Mandeep Singh in the first over.
Faced with a daunting target, Ben Stokes (50 off 26) launched the chase with a superb array of shots and Rajasthan had 60 runs on the board before they lost the first wicket in the powerplay. Sanju Samson (48 off 25) added 51 with Robin Uthappa, and 34 with captain Steve Smith (31 off 20) and Rajasthan were on the road to victory. Jos Buttler provided the finishing touches with an unbeaten stand of 41 in the company Smith.
The win keeps alive Rajasthan’s slim chances of qualifying for the last four. The loss doesn’t harm Punjab’s chances, but they will now finish outside the top two.
Relive the match as it happened...
Halft time report: Gayle’s 99 gives Punjab a winning total
Chris Gayle struck at powerful 99 (63 balls) to lift Kings XI Punjab to a formidable total of 185/4 in 20 overs in Abu Dhabi tonight. His 120-run second-wicket partnership with skipper KL Rahul (46 off 41) formed the cornerstone of Punjab’s total after they lost Mandeep Singh in the first over.
Steven Smith won the toss, but little else went his way. Gayle was dropped early in the game when Riyan Parag and Robin Uthappa went for it. After that Gayle was merciless, hammering 8 sixes in a display of power hitting.
The target is within Rajasthan’s reach, given their batting talents. But a couple of wickets in powerplay could derail their chase. That’s what Punjab will be looking to do. So, advantage Punjab now.
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