Another IPL match came to an end on 19th April 2018 with KXIP beating SRH with 15 runs. Chris Gayle managed to steal the show with another fantastic century (this being his sixth), leading his team to a score of 193/3. His innings was ﬁlled with 11 sixes and a four.
Both Lokesh Rahul and Gayle managed a 53-run opening wicket partnership that clearly beneﬁtted the team. Mayank Agarwal also contributed with 18 runs and scoring two fours and one six. After his removal, Karun Nair came along and did a brilliant job supporting Gayle. Although Axar Patel could not participate in the match due to a thigh injury which he received while playing against RCB, his absence was made up by Brainder Sran, who bowled 3 tight overs in power play & gave very few runs.
Ashwin’s Captaincy was exceptional in the way he handled the rotation among the bowlers and he made the right decision in promoting Karun Nair to no. 4. Furthermore, his partnership with Gayle was quite a feat that contributed to their victory. Also, Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman played a fantastic game as the 17 yr old Afghan player ends with an expensive over and ends up conceding 12 runs in that one. While the former was at the top of his form and ﬁnally matched up to the high price tag.
On the other hand, SRH faced a heavy blow quite early in the match after opener Shikar Dhawan was injured. He was hit on the back of the elbow by Barinder Sran’s short pitch ball. SRH’s plan to begin their game with a great start from Dhawan to put them on par with KXIP went out the window when he retired due to his injury. With his gallant half century, skipper Kane Williamson tried his best. However, the team only managed to hit the boundaries sporadically. Manish Pandey remained undefeated on 57 and played a role of support for the team. However, the team eventually lost with a score of 178/4. SRH missed the mark by resting Billy Stanlake, who would’ve been a lethal option against Gayle with his express pace & bounce. This error in judgment contributed to their loss.
In a show of brute strength, Gayle took Rashid Khan head-on with four back to back sixes. Gayle went into the last round at the auctions and was picked by KXIP for 2 crores. In this battle against SRH, Gayle managed to justify every penny spent by the franchise, making this one of the most memorable matches played in the IPL. The Afghan spinner, Rashid Khan is at No.1 in the world.ODI and T20 rankings, but what separates him from other players is the indomitable bowling that puts him in a class different from the others.
It was overall a beautiful match, especially with Gayle’s century. The next time we see these two teams clash will be on 26th April 2018. Until then we got KXIP against KKR tomorrow (21st April 2018), while SRH goes head to head with CSK on Sunday (22nd April 2018).