RAJKOT, April 23: Kings XI Punjab produced an all- round performance to finally arrest their slide, beating Gujarat Lions by 26 runs in an one-sided Indian Premier League encounter, here today.
Courtesy Hashim Amla�s 65 and Axar Patel 34, Kings XI Punjab notched up 188 for seven after being invited to bat. The much-criticised bowling attack then joined the party restricting Lions to 162 for seven as they won a match after losing four consecutive games on the trot.
Kings XI Punjab now have six points from seven games while Lions remain at the bottom with four points.
The dangerous Brendon McCullum missed an in-dipping full-toss from Sandeep Sharma to be adjudged plumb in-front.
Skipper Suresh Raina (32) and Aaron Finch (13) added 40 runs at a brisk pace with the India international hitting a flurry of boundaries. But it was Mohit Sharma, who bowled one wide and full outside the off-stump and Finch�s uppish drive was taken by Marcus Stoinis.
But what changed the game completely was skipper Glenn Maxwell�s brilliant catch at the deep mid-wicket boundary. Raina played the customary swat over cow corner but Maxwell kept his balance as he timed his jump to perfection.
The pitch showed signs of being two-paced and KC Cariappa got Ravindra Jadeja to play early and dived in-front to grab the return catch.
The big-hitting Dwayne Smith (4) also got out cheaply, becoming Axar�s second victim of the match.
Cariappa then trapped Akshdeep Nath (0) in-front of the wicket to make matters worse as Karthik waged a lone battle.
Kings XI Punjab: Manan Vohra c Karthik b Singh 2, Hashim Amla c & b Agarwal 65, Shaun Marsh c Raina b Tye 30, Glenn Maxwell lbw b Jadeja 31, Marcus Stoinis c McCullum b Tye 7, Aaxar Patel c Finch b Smith 34, Wriddhiaman Saha run out (Basil Thampi) 10, Mohit Sharma not out 4. Extras: (B-1, LB-3, W-1) 5. Total: (for 7 wickets in 20 overs) 188. Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-81, 3-128, 4-132, 5-157, 6-174, 7-188. Bowling: S Agarwal 4-0-42-1, N Singh 2-0-7-1, Raina 1-0-6-0, Thampi 4-0-44-0, Tye 4-0-35-2, Jadeja 4-0-32-1, Smith 1-0-18-1.
Gujarat Lions: McCullum lbw b Sandeep Sharma 6, Finch c Stoinis b Sharma 13, Raina c Maxwell b Patel 32, Karthik not out 58, Jadeja c & b Cariappa 9, Smith c Stoinis b Patel 4, Nath lbw b Cariappa 0, Tye b Sandeep Sharma 22, Thampi not out 11. Extras: (b-1, lb-2, w-4) 7. Total: (for 7 wickets; 20 overs) 162. Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-46, 3-70, 4-95, 5-102, 6-102, 7-137. Bowling: Sandeep Sharma 4-0-40-2, M Sharma 4-0-25-1, Natarajan 3-0-22-0, Cariappa 4-0-24-2, Axar 4-0-36-2, Stoinis 1-0-12-0. � PTI