Deepankar Kaur | cricket20
The Kings XI Punjab kept their faint hopes of reaching the IPL play offs alive thanks to a comprehensive 111 run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.
Adam Gilchrist (106) rolled back the years with a scintillating century to help the Kings XI break the Royal Challengers seven game winning streak to move level on points with the Kolkata Knight Riders for the 4th and final play off spot.
The Kings XI skipper smashed 8 fours and 9 sixes during a memorable 55 ball innings as he shared a record breaking 2nd wicket stand of 206 with Shaun Marsh to leave help the Kings XI reach 232-2.
Faced with such a mammoth run chase the Royals Challengers innings never really got started after they lost Chris Gayle in the second over to leave the visitors with a mountain to climb.
Having set the tournament on fire after his late arrival the West Indian failed with the bat for the first time after being dismissed for a duck by Ryan Harris.
With their big hitting opener back in the dug out the visitors stuttered towards a heavy thrashing with only AB de Villiers offering any resistant’s with a gallant 34 from 27 deliveries.
Pitush Chawla (17-4) and Ryan Harris (28-3) led the way as they tore through the Royal Challengers middle order to help the Kings XI stay in the hunt for a place in the play offs.
Having struggled early on, Gilchrist hit the accelerator in the 8th over, dispatching Sreenath Aravind for a boundary and a six to kick start his innings after scoring just 2 runs from 9 deliveries.
The Kings XI skipper followed this up with two towering sixes off the bowling of Gayle in the next over before Charl Langeveldt was spared no mercy in the 10th over as the Aussie cruised past 50 with a six over midwicket.
Having reached his 2nd half century of the tournament from just 25 deliveries, Gilchrist continued to press on, peppering the boundary with fours and sixes during his record breaking stand with Marsh.
Despite playing the supporting role Marsh wasn’t to be outshone as he smashed 32 runs off the bowling of Johan van der Wath in the 15th over as the Kings XI batsman went on the rampage.
The skipper reached his century mark with a boundary in the final over to cap an extraordinary innings by the 39 year old Aussie which was finally ended by Langeveldt with just 2 balls to spare.
It marked a remarkable comeback after the Kings XI had been reduced to just 25-1 after Paul Valthaty (20) was dismissed in the 4th over by Langeveldt.