David Miller responded to his dismissal as captain of the Kings XI by registering his best innings of the series: 31 off 27.
It wasn’t spectacular, but then not much of the Kings innings was as they battled to 154 after the Gujarat Lions sent them in to bat. Only 15 fours and one six were hit in the whole innings. But it was enough to beat the table-topping Lions by 23 runs, thanks to Axar Patel taking four wickets in five balls.
Miller, whose previous best was 30*, hit two of those fours, alongside Wriddhiman Saha (33 off 19), but more importantly, they stabilised the innings after a good start was being eroded. From 65-0, the Kings fell to 73-4. Miller put on 27 with Murali Vijay and 39 with Saha, to take the score to a more respectable 139-6.
It proved to be the difference after Patel’s four wicket reduced the Lions from 38-2 to 57-6, removing first Dwayne Smith for 15; and then Dinesh Karthik (2) and Dwayne Bravo (0). After a break of three overs, Ravindra Jadeja (11) was dismissed first ball of Patel’s third over. They had already lost Brendon McCullum for 2 and Suresh Raina (18) to the pace of Mohit Shama which put the pressure on from the start.
It was Kings’ second win out of seven matches, but particularly satisfying to beat the table leaders, who now have six wins out of eight.
In the late match, the Pune Supergiants lost their second match in a row after losing Faf du Plessis to a broken finger.
The Mumbai Indians restricted the Supergiants to 159-5, and then ran off the required runs with nine balls to spare, thanks to an unbeaten 85 from Rohit Sharma.
Gujarat Lions v Kings XI Punjab Scoreboard