Rajkot: Kings XI Punjab recovered from a middle-order collapse to post 154 all out during an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.
Murali Vijay played a key knock of 55 off 41 deliveries. Punjab were, at one stage, sailing smoothly with the opening wicket stand between him and Marcus Stoinis (27 off 17) giving them 65 runs.
But young left-arm chinaman bowler Shivil Kaushik’s 3/20 helped the hosts gain a strong foothold in the match. Punjab lost four wickets between seventh to ninth over and were reduced to 73/4.
Later, sacked skipper David Miller (31) and Wriddhiman Saha’s cameo of 19-ball 33 helped Punjab get a respectable total.
Earlier, asked to bat, Punjab got off to a very good start as Vijay and Stoinis (27 off 17) took the team’s total to 59 in the powerplay (six) overs. Vijay looked in ominous touch, hitting medium pacer Praveen Kumar for four fours in the bowler’s first two overs.
But just when Stoinis was looking dangerous, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the stand by having the Australian right-hander stumped by wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik in the fourth ball of the sixth over. Then, the visitors were 65/1 but afterwards they failed to capitalise on the good start.
The next over, bowled by Kaushik, saw Punjab lose two key wickets off successive deliveries. Left-hander Shaun Marsh (1) was caught by captain Suresh Raina at short mid-wicket, while Glenn Maxwell got out for a duck to a contentious caught-behind decision off a wide ball, leaving the Australian right-hander shaking his head in disbelief.
Another drama unfolded on the penultimate ball of the ninth over when new batsman Gurkeerat Singh Mann, coming into the side replacing Manan Vohra, attempted a cut towards James Faulkner at backward point. Gurkeerat was sent back in his attempt to take a single by Vijay and, on his return, he was found short of the crease.
With the side reeling at 73/4, Vijay and David Miller tried to resurrect the innings, Meanwhile, Vijay reached fifty — second in this edition — before being holed out at deep mid-wicket by Dwayne Bravo, giving Kaushik his third wicket.
Later, Saha and Miller scored at a decent clip to take Punjab to 154 all out in 19.5 overs.
Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab: 154 in 19.5 overs (Murali Vijay 55, Wriddhiman Saha 33; Shivil Kaushik 3/20, Praveen Kumar 2/25, Dwayne Bravo 2/33) vs Gujarat Lions.