It’s often said that desperate times call for desperate measures and if there’s one team in this year’s IPL that is desperate to get onto the winning track, it’s the Kings XI Punjab.
Punjab finds itself at the rock-bottom, placed at 8th in the points table and if that isn’t enough; their captain in Miller has failed miserably both as a leader and individually as a batsman in the season so far.
|Kings XI Punjab||vs||Gujarat Lions|
|Date||01 May 2016|
|Venue||Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium|
|154/10 (19.5)||131/9 (20)|
Kings XI won by 23 runs
It was perhaps this poor show from it’s captain which forced Miller to be replaced by Murali Vijay as the captain of Punjab, the decision is aimed to take off captaincy pressure from Miller, which management believes might just help him bat better.
In the 28th match of IPL, Punjab took on the table-toppers in Gujarat Lions. Kings XI Punjab needed to come over their set pattern of playing XI and try something new and innovative which they did – dropping Vohra and giving an opportunity to Stoinis as opener alongside Murali Vijay for starter can be perceived as a positive move.
For those unaware of Stoinis, he’s an all-rounder who opens the batting for Melbourne Stars in big bash t20 league (Australia) and is also very handy with the ball, very able to bowl 4 crucial overs.
The partnership got off to a cautious start but Vijay slowly came into his own and started cuirassing through the off-side boundary in his typical stylish fashion. On the other end, Stoinis was a slow starter but after the end of 6 overs, Stoinis broke-free and smashed Jadeja in his very first over which went for 17 – absolutely rare for Jadeja whose been very hard in recent past to hit big against.
Punjab however yet again fell into a collapse and fell from 65-1 to 73-4 and subsequently 100-5, with the 5th wicket falling in form of Murali Vijay, who was well settled but was dismissed for 55.
Miller for the first time in this tournament got past 30 and it was his 31 alongside Saha’s 33 which guided Punjab to a fighting score of 154.
The Gujarat Lions in their chase wobbled and gave their weakest performance of the tournament thus far.
The chase never really looked strong and had it not been for some fight shown from Ishan Kishan with his 27 and James Faulkner’s 32 – the Gujarat Lions would’ve struggled to even get past 100.
The Lions lost their first blood at 13 runs with dismissal of McCullum. At 34, it lost it’s captain in Raina for 18 and followed was the fall of wickets like a peck of cards – 3 for just 1 run.
Smith, Karthik and Bravo are 3 BIG WICKETS to lose in span of 1 run and the credit for it goes to Axar Patel – who after quite sometime looked like the Axar Patel we know, not afraid to toss the ball and give it some flight, inviting batsmen to come forward and hit him; the sort of aggressive bowling that we often associate with Axar Patel.
Along with Axar Patel’s 4 wickets, Mohit Sharma took 3 wickets and thus concluded a very formidable performance from a team that finds itself at 8th in the points table, seizing a win against the table-topper in Gujarat Lions.
Folks, the IPL 2016 knockouts are still very much open to all the teams.
KXIP vs GL Video Recap
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