Opener Chris Gayle missed out on his century by just one run but his valiant effort (99* off 64) helped Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) post a fighting 173/7 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Punjab Cricket Association I.S. Bindra Stadium, here on Saturday.
Despite getting little support from the other end throughout the innings, Gayle, the self-proclaimed universe boss, kept one end in control after staying in the middle through the 20 overs.
Put into bat, Gayle and K.L. Rahul started on a cautious note as they accumulated 36 runs in the first five overs. It was Yuzvendra Chahal who drew the first blood for the visitors as he broke the 66-run opening stand by dismissing Rahul (18) in the seventh over.
With just 20 runs added to the Punjab scorecard, Chahal struck again as he castled Mayank Agarwal, who could only manage to contribute 15 runs to the team total.
Sarfaraz Khan (15) also failed to stay in the middle for long as he edged Mohammed Siraj to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps in the 13th over. Moeen Ali then trapped Sam Curran (1) plumb in front with the hosts' scorecard reading 113/4 in the 14th over. The visiting bowlers kept on striking at regular intervals, but couldn't get the better off Gayle.
The Caribbean power hitter kept the scoreboard moving as he smashed some lusty blows to guide his side to a fighting total. His knock was laced with 10 fours and five sixes. Mandeep Singh also remained unbeaten on 18 off 16 deliveries as Punjab handed a 174-run target to Bangalore.
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