Amla's ton goes in vain as Punjab's playoff hopes suffer a setback

08 May 2017, 04:08 | Kristine Mills

On a roll with back-to-back wins, a resurgent Kings XI Punjab will look to go all guns blazing against down and out Gujarat Lions here tomorrow to keep their IPL play-off hopes alive.

Hashim Amla, who has been in fantastic form this season, struck his second hundred of this year's Indian Premier League as Kings XI Punjab played the Gujarat Lions in Mohali.

The 91-run stand finally ended when T Natarajan (1-32) had Kishan caught at deep midwicket and in the next 10 deliveries, both Smith and Suresh Raina (39) smashed two sixes and three boundaries combined to ease the required run rate.

Smith followed him back to the pavilion a couple of overs later when he was dismissed by Glenn Maxwell.

An 11-ball cameo from captain Glenn Maxwell yielded 20 runs to put the hosts in command at the innings break and a good chance to close the gap between fifth and fourth on the IPL ladder to just a single point. Amla was the more aggressive of the two, after he took off against Pradeep Sangwan in the third over with consecutive fours and relied on boundaries towards the end for the late surge his team needed, and scored his half-century off 35 balls. Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina was confident that his batting would fire, before the start of the game. First, Miller dropped a dolly as Smith tried to slog it over mid-off and two overs later, it was Gurkeerat Singh Mann who was unfortunate as he was not able to hold on to the ball. The left-hander did not score a boundary until he had faced 15 balls, but once he had gauged the conditions, he upped the tempo. At the half-way stage, KXIP were 81 for one.

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Hashim Amla has been their highest run-scorer with 316 runs, which included a century against Mumbai Indians. Soon after reaching his half-century, Amla signaled intent, hitting the leg-spinner Ankit Soni for a six over long-off.

The Lions would get over the line with six wickets and two balls to spare.

Amla made 104 off just 60 balls with the help of eight fours and five huge hits over the fence to take Kings XI forward.

Wenger overcame Mourinho s Chelsea in the 2015 Community Shield, but this was the first time he had got the better of his old foe with league points at stake. But more often than not, it is their inexperienced bowling unit which has cost the side dearly. This leaves Lions with only four overseas players to choose from: Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, James Faulkner and the UAE batsman Chirag Suri.

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