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Cricket | Indian Premier League 2018

Chris Gayle © @IPL (Twitter)

Gayle stars as KXIP beat CSK

Rumours of Chris Gayle’s demise as one of the world’s most destructive T20 batsmen were laid to rest as the Jamaican opener plundered 63 from just 33 balls to lead the King’s XI Punjab to a total of 197 for seven and victory by four runs in their IPL match against the Chennai Super Kings on Sunday night.

Full scorecard: KXIP v CSK

Despite MS Dhoni’s exhilarating 79 from 44 deliveries and a flurry of boundaries at the death which threatened the most improbable of victories, the men in yellow were restricted to 193 for five.

Much as Dhoni captured the headlights, the turning point was Ravi Ashwin’s brilliant, direct-hit run out of Ambati Rayudu for 49 (35 balls, 5x4 1x6) when the run chase had seemed possible at 113 for three in the 14th over.

Seventeen-year-old Afghani offspinner Mujeed ur Rahman was the most impressive of the King’s XI attack, conceding just 18 runs from his three overs.

Gayle reached his half century from just 22 deliveries with seven fours and three sixes and with opening partner KL Rahul not far behind the King’s XI reached an eye-watering 75 for no loss in the six-over powerplay.

A total well in excess of 200 seemed likely until the CSK bowlers fought back in the face of an intimidating onslaught.

Gayle was caught by Imran Tahir at short fine leg top edging an attempted pull after Rahul (37 from 22 balls, 7x4) had punched a full toss from Harbhajan Singh to Dwayne Bravo at extra cover.

Mayank Agarwal maintained the momentum with 30 from 19 balls and another veteran, Yivraj Singh, chipped in with 20 from 13 balls before edging a lifter to MS Dhoni.

Aaron Finch was trapped lbw first ball by Tahir but KK Nair smashed 29 from 17 deliveries to ensure the blazing start by the openers was not wasted.

Tahir was the pick of the bowlers for CSK with 2-34 from his four overs although medium pacer Shardul Thakur also claimed 2-33 from three overs.

The story of the match, however, was 38-year-old Gayle who was only picked up in the third and final round of the IPL auction ensuring his participation in all 11 versions of the tournament.

KINGS XI PUNJAB: Lokesh Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin (capt), Andrew Tye, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur


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