KXIP v GL Player of the Match: Hashim Amla

Clyde Nash
May 8, 2017

Dwayne Smith was dropped twice on his way to 74 from 39 balls for the Lions, while there was also a let-off for skipper Suresh Raina (39) before Dinesh Karthik (31 not out) completed a successful chase in the company of Ravindra Jadeja.

With Gujarat's overseas supplies down to bare rations due to a series of unfortunate injuries, Smith earned automatic selection and didn't disappoint, muscling eight boundaries and four sixes to wrestle the momentum back to the visitors.

The platform for the Lions win was set by the opening pair of Smith and Ishan Kishan, who added 91 runs at almost 10 runs an over. Smith was at his attacking best as he dealt mostly in boundaries and sixes.

It was to be Amla's second century in IPL 2017 in a losing cause after scoring 104 not out against Mumbai Indians at Indore in a match won by Mumbai Indians by eight wickets.

Kings XI have 10 points with four games left to play.

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This was his second hundred in the IPL. KXIP posted a big score, but poor fielding led to their downfall. Once again, the inconsistency in the Kings XI squad hampered their performance as their chance to qualify for playoffs weakened. In order to seal a playoff spot, KXIP must win their remaining games, and hope Sunrisers Hyderabad lose their two. KXIP made things hard for themselves by not holding onto the chances that came their way; Smith was put down twice - on 42 (by David Miller) and on 51 (by Gurkeerat Mann), while was let Raina off when he was on 36. Despite Amla's wonderful skills with his bat and scored a century, Gujarat Lions beat KXIP by 6 wickets.

Smith brought up his half-century with a six off Axar Patel in the final delivery of the seventh over.

Glenn Maxwell: "189 was enough, the bowlers and fielders let us down".

Smith's 39-ball masterful knock ended when Maxwell (1-21) had the former West Indian batsman holed out at deep midwicket.

Smith must have been under enormous pressure having scored only 19 runs in his last six innings. Sangwan and Thampi were the other wicket-takers.

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The early fall of wicket had an impact on Kings XI as the hosts found the going tough initially and the first four overs just yielded 21 runs. Amla nearly had his innings cut short when Ravindra Jadeja couldn't latch on to a hard chance at point.

With Amla batting fluently, Shaun Marsh had the time to get his eye in.

Axar has come into his own in the middle overs (7th to 15th) this season, conceding 7.25 per over while picking up nine wickets, the joint second-most this season alongside Chahal, with only Imran Tahir (13) taking more.

Amla reached to this feat on just 59 balls.

Dhawal Kulkarni (1/24) finally broke the partnership, dismissing Marsh in the 16th over caught at long-on by Finch.

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