Kings XI Punjab downs Gujarat Lions

Naturally, the mini-battle between the hometown hero Ravindra Jadeja and Kings XI Punjab all-rounder Axar Patel was going to be decisive in the outcome of the Gujarat Lions’ penultimate game in its home city. Patel pipped Jadeja to set up a comfortable 26-run victory for the Kings XI Punjab and help the team end a four-match losing streak.

Axar Patel celebrates the dismissal of Suresh Raina in Rajkot on Sunday.   -  AFP

They both hail from the same state, although they represent different teams in domestic cricket. They both possess the same skill-set, although for different teams in the Indian Premier League.

Naturally, the mini-battle between the hometown hero Ravindra Jadeja and Kings XI Punjab all-rounder Axar Patel was going to be decisive in the outcome of the Gujarat Lions’ penultimate game in its home city. Patel pipped Jadeja to set up a comfortable 26-run victory for the Kings XI Punjab and help the team end a four-match losing streak.

Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The lanky left-hander's lusty blows in the death overs meant Kings XI Punjab could propel 188 for seven on the board. And the trusted left-arm spin of Patel – who had for a brief while displaced Jadeja in India's limited overs' team – then scalped two crucial wickets in the middle overs, including that of an on-song Lions skipper Suresh Raina, to ensure the good work of the batsmen was complemented by the bowling unit.

When Patel joined Marcus Stoinis in the middle, with stylish Hashim Amla and robust Glenn Maxwell having departed in three balls, the Kings was in danger of stuttering at the end. Despite losing Marcus Stoinis, Patel was patient for a late charge. He targetted Dwayne Smith, who was forced to bowl the penultimate over with Nathu Singh injuring himself after an impressive two-over burst in the Powerplay. The first three balls fetched 14 runs before Patel was caught brilliantly on the fence by a sprinting Aaron Finch. The damage, however, had been done and Patel's 17-ball 34 resulted in a 160-ish total virtually touching 190s.

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With Sandeep Sharma trapping Brendon McCullum in front of the wicket with a full-toss in the opening over and Aaron Finch finding Stoinis at covers in the sixth over, the onus was on captain Raina and Dinesh Karthik to keep Lions in the hunt. Raina had started in a similar vein to his onslaught in Kolkata against the Knight Riders two nights earlier.

Considering that Raina was one of the few batsmen to have dominated Patel in the previous IPL editions, Patel was held back for the middle overs. And the bowler forced Raina to hole out to Maxwell on the long-on fence for an impresive catch. He then returned for a second spell, getting rid of the danger man Dwayne Smith.

That left Karthik with little company down the order. And the wicketkeeper-batsman, who became the first 'keeper to effect 100 dismissals with a lunging catch to dismiss Manan Vohra in the second over of the match, played a valiant knock that reduced the margin of loss for the home team.