Already out of the reckoning, Gujarat Lions severely dented Kings XI Punjab’s play-off chances with a comfortable six wicket win in an Indian Premier League match, here today.
Dwayne Smith turned out to be the architect of the victory for Gujarat with a whirlwind 74 off just 39 deliveries to get the visitors off to a flier while chasing a challenging 190 for win.
Smith struck eight boundaries and four huge hits over the fence during his explosive knock.
Chasing the target, Gujarat rode on Smith’s brisk batting to race to 91 for no loss inside 10 overs.
Smith was at his attacking best as he dealt mostly in boundaries and sixes.
Together with Ishan Kishan (29 off 24 balls), Smith shared 91 runs for the opening partnership to lay the foundation for the chase.
Earlier, Hashim Amla played a brilliant knock to notch up his second century of the ongoing IPL and power Kings XI Punjab to a challenging 189 for three.
Amla, thus, became the second batsman after Virat Kohli to register two centuries in a single IPL season.
Amla made 104 off just 60 balls with the help of eight fours and five huge hits over the fence to take Kings XI forward.
He was ably supported by Shaun Marsh (58 off 43 balls) as the duo shared 125 runs for the second wicket to set the platform for the total.
Towards the end, skipper Glenn Maxwell remained unbeaten on 20 off 11 balls.
From here on, it will be a Herculean task for Kings XI to qualify for the play-offs as they not only will have to win their remaining three games but their fate will also depend on the outcome of other games.
Kings XI are currently lying at the fifth spot with 10 points from 11 games and cannot afford to slip a bit in their remaining three game to stay in the fray.