Kings XI stay alive with crucial win

NBA India

NBA India

Chasing the target, Gujarat rode on Smith's brisk batting to race to 91 for no loss inside 10 overs.

Together with Ishan Kishan (29 off 24 balls), Smith shared 91 runs for the opening partnership to lay the foundation for the chase.

Wriddhiman Saha's (38) valiant 33-ball knock along with a eight-ball cameo from Rahul Tewatia (15 not out), helped Kings XI post 167 for six in their 20 overs.

KXIP's South African import Hashim Amla has been their main batsmen with 400-plus runs, which includes two centuries - against Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions. Amla went to 50 off 35 balls, and along with Marsh, set the flawless platform for his side with a 125-run partnership.

Maxwell remained unbeaten on 20 runs off 11 deliveries which included two sixes.

On a roll with back-to-back wins, a resurgent Kings XI Punjab will look to go all guns blazing against down and out Gujarat Lions. Even if KXIP wins this contest then they will have continue doing the same in next two matches as well to keep their chances alive for qualifying for playoffs. The ball was skied due to poor timing and Axar Patel grabbed a good diving catch to sink Kolkata.

Kolkata Knight Riders: S. Narine b Sharma 18, C. Lynn (run out) 84, G. Gambhir c Marsh b Tewatia 8, R. Uthappa c Patel b Tewatia 0, M. Pandey c Patel b Henry 18, C.de Grandhomme (not out) 11, Y. Pathan c Maxwell b Sharma 2, C. Woakes (not out) 8.

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In the next over, Narine got Guptill (12; 16b 1x4 0x6) leg before wicket. The 23-year-old, playing his first match this season and his fifth overall in the IPL, came out of nowhere, gave away only three runs in his first over and then took out Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa in a gap of three balls, leaving KKR in a spot of bother at 79/3 after 10.

So, for the neutrals and all Kings XI fans, a win from Glenn Maxwell and co.is what is required, if the last seven matches are not to become a little academic, at least until SRH play their last game. There would be an added responsibility on Shaun Marsh and Glen Maxwell to provide the side stability in the absence of Hashim Amla.

The duo struck boundaries at will as the notched up their 100-run stand for the second wicket in the 13th over.

Lynn and Sunil Narine yet again provided Knight Riders a brisk start of 39 runs off 22 balls before Narine was outfoxed by Mohit Sharma's off-cutter and was clean bowled.

Amla wanted to display his more talent but failed to do so as in the after first six of the match he failed to repeat the same.

Amla brought up his century in style as he creamed Thampi over cover boundary for a flat six.

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