GAME CHANGING MOMENT: Gilchrist, Mahmood steer Kings to victory
Kings XI Punjab hurt Royal Challengers Bangalore’s chances to qualify for the play-offs and boosted theirs with a 7-wicket win over the hosts at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
A sedate Chris Gayle’s late charge and partnership with Virat Kohli made RCB reach an almost par score of 174 when they were put in to bat first by Gilchrist.
The Kings XI Punjab captain came out then in the 2nd innings and played a match-winning knock and stitched together a 118-run partnership with Azhar Mahmood which turned out to be the game-changing moment of the match.
Gilchrist and Mahmood came together at the crease at 24/1 after 2.3 overs and by the time Mahmood departed in the 16th over, the writing was clear on the wall. In a partnership spanning 12.5 overs, Gilly and Mahmood chased at a rate of over 9 runs per over. While Gilchrist got his boosters on in the 9th over, slamming three boundaries, Mahmood took a liking to the great Muralitharan and rookie Henriques and scored 33 off their 3 overs combined. Despite T20 being touted as a ‘young man’s game’, Gilchrist (aged 41) and Mahmood (aged 38) broke all such notions with powerful hitting of the ball.
After struggling earlier in the season and then dropping himself, before making a return with some good knocks, Adam Gilchrist finally showed his vintage form as he scored 85 off just 54 balls with 10 fours and 3 sixes. Azhar Mahmood was the perfect partner for the captain in the middle as he accumulated 61 runs off just 41 deliveries, hitting 8 fours and a single hit over the boundary.
With this win, Kings XI Punjab remain in the race for the play-off spot, the race for which is going to get very close.
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