Mohali: Chris Gayle smashed an unbeaten 104 off 63 balls, pushing Kings XI Punjab to 193 for three against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, here on Thursday.
Punjab's bowling all-rounder Axar Patel is set to miss the clash as he is suffering from left thigh strain, with Barinder Sran expected to fill his void yet again.
The rest of the Kings XI batting lineup were reduced to supporting roles with Karun Nair's 31 being the next highest score.
The Sunrisers having the best bowling lineup in this season with likes of Bhuvi, Shakib, Rashid Khan, Kaul, and Stanlake are giving their best, winning all matches through wickets for SRH. Other than Dhawan, it could well be Kane Williamson's night in Punjab.
Sunrisers Hyderabad had a bad start to their innings as opener Shikhar Dhawan was retired hurt after being hit on the elbow.
If the West Indian hadn't batted SRH out of the contest yet, Mohit Sharma and Andrew Tye's double strikes ensured KXIP completed a hat-trick of victories at their home ground, confining SRH to the second spot for now.
Why wouldn't you, when you have an opening pair of KL Rahul and Gayle?
HUNDRED! Chris Gayle is in the form of his life as he has just got to a century!
As the required run rate climbed, Williamson was ploughing a lone furrow, the skipper dismissed for 54 as the Sunrisers finished well short on 178-4. Well, KXIP's all-rounder Chris Gayle won Man of the Match title.
Unsold in two rounds of auctions before eventually getting picked at base price to now becoming the first centurion in IPL 2018 - Gayle had a point to prove and he did that in typical style.
It was Gayle's sixth IPL ton, containing 11 sixes and one four, as Punjab became the first team to win the toss and elect to bat first in this year's competition.
At the other end, KL Rahul (18 off 21 balls) wasn't quite looking the same force that saw him score an IPL-record 14-ball fifty in Kings XI's first game, ultimately falling lbw to Rashid in the eighth over.
For Hyderabad to have chased down the big total, they needed a good start.
Telecast: KXIP vs SRH match will be telecast by the Star Network.