Mohali, April 19 (IANS) Riding on opener Chris Gayle’s unbeaten 104-run knock, Kings XI Punjab posted a mammoth 193/3 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Punjab Cricket Association I.S. Bindra Stadium here on Thursday.
Gayle struck a 63-ball 104, laced with 11 sixes and a boundary to set the jam-packed stadium on fire.
Opting to bat, Punjab started on a cautious note as openers Lokesh Rahul (18) and Gayle stitched a 53-run partnership for the opening wicket.
Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan drew first blood for Hyderabad, dismissing Rahul in the eighth over.
Medium pacer Siddarth Kaul provided another jolt to the hosts, packing back incoming batsman Mayank Agarwal (18) in the 11th over.
Gayle was then joined by Karun Nair (31 off 21 balls; 4×3, 6×1) and the duo shared a 85-run partnership for the third wicket, taking Punjab past the 150-run mark.
By then, Gayle had brought up his sixth IPL ton in just 58 deliveries, with a squeezy drive to point off Kaul and thereafter unleashing his trademark ‘Baby in the arms’ celebration.
Pacer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar got rid-off Nair in the 18th over but Gayle continued to hamnmer every Hyderabad bowler.
Australian Aaron Finch’s 14 not out off 6 balls in the final moments propelled Punjab to a massive total even as Gayle remained a spectator at the other end.
For Hyderabad, Bhuvneshwar, Rashid and Kaul bagged one wicket apiece.
Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 193/3 (Chris Gayle 104 not out, Karun Nair 31; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/25) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad.