Rajkot, April 23 (IANS) Opening batsman Hashim Amla played a crucial knock of 65 as Kings XI Punjab posted a challenging total of 188/7 in 20 overs against Gujarat Lions in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Sunday.
Amla (65; 40b; 9x4, 2x6) shared a 70-run stand for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh (30 off 24 balls) at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here.
The partnership came after Manan Vohra (2) edged a Nathu Singh delivery to wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik in the second over. Both Amla and Marsh played aggressive cricket to put the presure on the Gujarat Lions.
While Amla utilised his strong off-side stroke-making to good effect, Marsh decided to take more risk, hitting over the infield. By the end of the Powerplay overs, they reached 50/1, with Amla leading the charge.
The partnership was broken in the 10th over when a slow delivery from medium pacer Andrew Tye saw Marsh mistime and giving an easy catch to Suresh Raina at midwicket, with Punjab at 81/2 in 9.2 overs.
The same over saw Amla complete his fifty in 30 deliveries and the stage was set for Punjab's power hitters. Amla was joined by Glenn Maxwell and the pair went on the offensive from the word go.
Maxwell took only 18 deliveries to score 31 before being dismissed lbw against left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the 14th over. Amla fell an over before him, driving one straight back at leg-spinner Shubham agarwal.
However, the fireworks from Punjab didn't stop as Axar Patel batted with disdain, playing a quickfire 34 off 17 deliveries, of which three went for fours and two were deposited in the stands against Dwayne Smith as Punjab ended at 188/7.
Brief scores: Punjab: 188/7 in 20 overs (Hashim Amla 65, Axar Patel 34, Glenn Maxwell 31; Andrew Tye 2/35, Nathu Singh 1/7) vs Gujarat.