Kings XI Punjab on Thursday night beat Sunrisers Hyderabad as they registered a comfortable 15-run win over the visitors at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium here.
It was the hosts’ first win against the Sunrisers in five meetings in Mohali. KXIP though remained at third in the Indian Premier League standings with six points from four games. They are tied on points with the top two teams – Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers.
It was the first defeat for Sunrisers this season as they managed to score 178/4 after Chris Gayle (104 not out) powered the home side to 193/3. Skipper Kane Williamson (54) and Manish Pandey (57 not out) scored half-centuries but they failed to keep the team’s unbeaten streak intact.
Riding on Gayle’s unbeaten 104, first hundred of the season, KXIP set 194-run target for Sunrisers. Gayle struck a 63-ball 104, laced with 11 sixes and a four to set the jam-packed stadium on fire.
Opting to bat, Punjab started on a cautious note as openers KL Rahul (18) and Gayle stitched a 53-run partnership for the opening wicket. Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan drew first blood for Hyderabad, dismissing Rahul in the eighth over. Medium pacer Siddarth Kaul provided another jolt to the hosts, packing back Mayank Agarwal (18) in the 11th over.
Gayle was then joined by Karun Nair (31 off 21 balls) and the duo shared a 85-run partnership for the third wicket, taking Punjab past the 150-run mark. Gayle brought up his sixth IPL ton in just 58 deliveries, with a drive to point off Kaul and thereafter unleashing his trademark ‘Baby in the arms’ celebration.