first_imgHASHIM Amla continued his sparkling form as Kings XI Punjab secured a dominant 26-run win over the IPL’s bottom team Gujarat Lions.South African Amla scored a brilliant unbeaten century against Mumbai Indians in defeat last time out but an impressive knock of 65 contributed to a winning effort in Rajkot. His game was marred somewhat by picking up a hamstring injury in the field.Axar Patel’s lower-order 34 off 17 boosted Kings XI to 188-7 before his left-arm spin snared two crucial wickets as the Lions’ batting order could not offer suitable assistance for the likes of Suresh Raina (32) and Dinesh Karthik (58 not out).Both sides came into the game with four points, but Kings XI’s first victory in five games moves them up to fourth in the table.The Lions won the toss and invited their visitors to bat, a move that looked to have paid off when Manan Vohra (2) edged behind, but Shaun Marsh (30) and Amla added 70 for the second wicket to put Kings XI on top.Having played the aggressor, Amla reverted to type when Glenn Maxwell joined him at the crease, but the pair were dismissed in the space of three balls as momentum swung back the way of Gujarat – captain Maxwell perhaps guilty of overconfidence when trapped lbw to Ravindra Jadeja on the reverse sweep for 31.Axar helped Kings XI overcome that wobble, however, blasting Dwayne Smith for 16 runs off three balls before holing out to mid-off.Gujarat were well on the back foot, though, and they were well behind the eight ball once Brendon McCullum (6) and Aaron Finch (13) were dismissed in the powerplay.Finch and Raina’s 40-run union was the Lions best partnership, summing up the regular intervals at which wickets fell, with Karthik rapidly running out of suitable partners to secure a fifth Gujarat defeat in seven games.(Omnisport)last_img

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