Abu Dhabi: Batsman Chris Gayle’s gutsy knock and a cameo by Nicholas Pooran powered Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to 185 runs against Rajasthan Royals here at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday.
KXIP smashed 14 runs both in the 18th and 19th over respectively. The run-scoring was largely powered by Gayle as he smashed 99 runs off 63 balls. The ‘Universe Boss’ also completed 1000 sixes in the T20 cricket. Meanwhile, Pooran scored 22 runs off 10 balls.
However, Jofra Archer ended Gayle stint at the crease as the ‘Universe Boss‘ missed his century by a run. After getting out Gayle sent his bat flying, then shook hands with Archer.
Put into bat, KXIP got off to the worst possible start with Mandeep Singh back in the hut in the very first over. Gayle then joined skipper KL Rahul and started whacking boundaries. The ‘Universe Boss‘ started from where he left the other day.
With 14 runs coming in the sixth over, KXIP smashed 53 runs in the powerplay. Gayle continued his onslaught as KXIP got over the 100-run mark in the 13th over.
Meanwhile, the left-handed Gayle completed his 31st IPL half-century as Rahul continued to play the role of second fiddle.
Ben Stokes dismissed Rahul in the 15th over as a 120-run stand for the second wicket came to an end. Pooran, who came into bat at number four, whacked two sixes as KXIP looked to finish on a big note.
The duo continued to whack the ball as KXIP smashed 14, 11, and 14 runs in the 16th, 17th, and 18th over respectively. However, a stunning catch by Rahul Tewatia ended Pooran’s cameo in the 18th over.
In the end, KXIP scored 185 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
KXIP 185/4 [Chris Gayle 99(63), KL Rahul 46(41), Ben Stokes 2-32, Jofra Archer 2-26]