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IPL 2016 – KXIP vs GL: Axar Hat-trick Takes KXIP To Second Win

By on May 1, 2016

Kings XI Punjab 154 (Vijay 55, Saha 33, Kaushik 3-20) beat Gujarat Lions 131 for 9 (Faulkner 32, Kishan 27, Axar 4-21, Mohit 3-32) by 23 runs…

Under the new leadership of Murali Vijay, Kings XI Punjab hoped for a new vigour to resurrect their flaying 2016 Indian Premier League season, and that vigour was provided by Axar Patel who became the 11th bowler in IPL history to claim a hat-trick, and riding on the superlative effort from the left-arm spinner (4/21) Kings XI Punjab notched up their second win of the season beating Gujarat Lions by 23 runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot on Sunday.

A target of 155 did not seem to be a challenging one for GL who had so far steam-rolled their opposition en route to the top spot in the points tally, but on a Rajkot track that had just enough purchase for the spinners, the Suresh Raina-led side were undone by the left-arm spin of Axar to crash to only their second defeat in seven matches.

It was the India international Mohit Sharma (3/32) who laid the foundation for the successful defence with the wickets of Brendon McCullum (1) and Raina (18) upfront, before Axar swooped in with a three-wicket over, that included the scalps of Dwayne Smith (15), Dinesh Karthik (2) and Dwayne Bravo (0). Yet that was not the hat-trick.

IPL 2016 - KXIP vs GL: Axar Patel

Credits: ESPN CricInfo

After removing Karthik and Bravo off the fifth and sixth deliveries of the seventh over, Axar came back to bowl the 11th and off the first ball, he sent back Ravindra Jadeja (11) to effectively end the chase for GL. James Faulkner and Ishan Kishan (27) tried to get their team back, but Axar’s spell of 4-0-21-4 had not just stopped the GL innings in its track, but had derailed it beyond repair.

After Vijay’s 41-ball 55-run knock had helped KXIP overcome their usual middle-order wobble to post a total of 154 – that seemed 15-20 runs less than a par total – it was imperative for KXIP to put in a special effort, but with GL opener Smith tonking Sandeep Sharma for a four and six in the first over, it was far from the start KXIP would have hoped for.

But, Mohit provided the opening by rattling McCullum’s middle stump in the second over. Sharma’s plan of bowling stump-to-stump line worked again when another middle stump rattle signalled the demise of GL skipper Raina. GL were on the backfoot, but with an in-form middle-order to follow, they would have fancied their chances.

Enter Axar and his second over sequence read thus: Wd 1 0 W 1 W W. After seven overs, GL were reeling at 39 for 5. And with that, that match was for KXIP’s taking. Smith was holed out at long-off off the second ball, Karthik was fooled by an arm-ball that skidded off the surface and another armer had Bravo’s stumps disturbed.

KC Carippa (3-0-15-0), playing his first match of IPL 2016, did well to hold the other end tight and despite Vijay opting against handing Axar another over, his bowlers continued to stifle the jolted GL batsmen.

Axar returned for his second spell and had Jadeja edge one to keeper Wriddhiman Saha to complete the 14th instance of a hat-trick in IPL history. With this landmark, Axar joined Yuvraj Singh as the only other KXIP bowler to claim a hat-trick. In fact, Yuvraj claimed a hat-trick twice in the 2009 season.

Faulkner and Kishan did not allow GL to pummel further as the duo put on 29-run stand for that seventh wicket, but by now it did seem they were only delaying the inevitable. Kishan was run-out in the 15th over, but Faulkner continued his fight it the last over and scored 32, as GL ended at 131 for 9-.

Earlier, Vijay had scored his second fifty of the season to help KXIP to a good start in combination with Marcus Stoinis, who had replaced Manan Vohra at the top, with the duo putting on 59 runs in the powerplay overs. But the wicket of Stoinis, stumped by wicketkeeper Karthik off Jadeja in the seventh over opened the floodgates and KXIP went on to lose four wickets for just eight runs in a span of 13 balls.

However, Former captain David Miller (31) and Wriddiman Shaha (33) then managed to take KXIP past the 150-run mark with some late hitting. For GL, left-arm spinner with Paul Adam-esque action, Shivil Kaushik, claimed the maximum three wickets for just 20 runs in his fours while Praveen and Dwayne Bravo picked two each.

After Jadeja had sent back Stoinis (27), Kaushik scalped two big wickets – Shaun Marsh (1) and Glenn Maxwell (0) – off back-to-back deliveries in the eight over to put KXIP on the backfoot.

Kaushik, who had turned many heads (no pun intended) during his IPL debut two days back against Rising Pune Supergiants with a action that would even put a contortionist to shame, had Marsh caught at midwicket off a googly and in the next ball, Maxwell chased a wide and short delivery, but with the umpire raising his finger, a visibly upset Maxwell had to walk back. Kaushik then went on to remove Vijay.

Source: Times Of India

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