The legend of Chris Gayle continued to grow in company of young KL Rahul as Kings XI Punjab outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets in a rain-hit IPL encounter at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The Gaylestorm was the only thundering that outshadowed the rain and changed the course of the match.
Chris Lynn, who has had a quiet time so far, got into his groove in his 74 off 41 balls (6x4, 4x6) en route to his maiden half-century in this IPL to lift KKR to a challenging 191/7. Lynn stitched two crucial fifty-plus partnerships in the middle -- first 72 runs from 41 balls with Robin Uthappa (34) and then 62 off 34 balls with Dinesh Karthik (43) -- to help KKR overcome a shaky start after they were sent in to bat by Ravichandran Ashwin.
First ball after the time out and Ashwin dismissed Uthappa as KKR lost two wickets in seven runs before Lynn and Karthik stole the show from KXIP. Uthappa smashed Mujeeb for three boundaries in a row in his second over that yielded 15 runs as KKR quickly recovered to 50/1 after the Powerplay.
KXIP were 96 for no loss in 8.2 overs, 31 runs ahead of the DLS par score, when rain halted the play at 6.40pm, but there was no let up in intensity for Gayle as he resumed his innings with a huge six over long off to complete his 50 in only 28 balls.
Gayle and Rahul mainly dealt in boundaries against the KKR pace attack of Shivam Mavi and Russell as there seemed to be a race to who will reach the 50-run mark first between them. The Powerplay overs yielded 73 runs and that killed the contest.
Having scored the fastest half-century in IPL, Rahul once again underlined his credentials as an opener in shortest format with nine fours and two sixes as KXIP climbed to the top of the table with eight points from five games. This was also their first win at the Eden Gardens since 2012.