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Bowlers help Kings XI Punjab slay Gujarat Lions

Bowlers help Kings XI Punjab slay Gujarat Lions
Kings XI Punjab produced an all- round performance to finally arrest their slide, beating Gujarat Lions by 26 runs in a one-sided Indian Premier League encounter, here on Sunday.

Courtesy Hashim Amla's 65 and Axar Patel 34, Kings XI Punjab notched up 188 for seven after being invited to bat.

The much-criticised bowling attack then joined the party restricting Lions to 162 for seven as they won a match after losing four consecutive games on the trot.

Kings XI Punjab now have six points from seven games while Lions remain at the bottom with four points.

The dangerous Brendon McCullum missed a in-dipping full- toss from Sandeep Sharma to be adjudged plumb in-front.

Skipper Suresh Raina (32) and Aaron Finch (13) added 40 runs at a brisk pace with the India international hitting a flurry of boundaries. But it was Mohit Sharma, who bowled one wide and full outside the off-stump and Finch's uppish drive was taken by Marcus Stoinis. But what changed the game completely was skipper Glenn Maxwell's brilliant catch at the deep mid-wicket boundary.

Raina played the customary swat over cow corner but Maxwell kept his balance as he timed his jump to perfection.

The pitch showed signs of being two-paced and KC Cariappa got Ravindra Jadeja to play early and dived in-front to grab the return catch.

The big-hitting Dwayne Smith (4) also got out cheaply, becoming Axar's second victim of the match.

Cariappa then trapped Akshdeep Nath (0) in-front of the wicket to make matters worse as Karthik waged a lone battle.

Cariappa and Axar between them bowled eight overs giving away only 60 runs and most importantly got four wickets.

Earlier, Amla's sublime touch was complemented by an Axar cameo that powered Kings XI Punjab to a competitive 188 for seven against Gujarat Lions. Amla hit 65 off 40 balls with nine boundaries and two sixes to set the platform while Axar's 34 off 17 balls enabled the Kings XI Punjab to reach a fighting total after 20 overs. Shaun Marsh (30 off 24 balls) and Maxwell (31 off 18 balls) also made useful contributions.

Brief scores:
Kings XI Punjab vs Gujarat Lions:
KXIP: 188/7 (Hashim Amla 65, Axar Patel 34, KC Cariappa 2/24).
GL: 162/7 (Dinesh Karthik 58, Suresh Raina 32, Andrew Tye 2/35).
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