K L Rahul played the role of a sheet anchor to perfection as Kings XI Punjab returned to winning ways with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in an IPL encounter on Saturday.
Quinton de Kock with a 39-ball-60 created a platform which the middle-order, unfortunately, didn't make full use of before Hardik smashed 31 off 19 balls to enable MI get past 175-run mark.
The pace troika of Shami (2/40 in 4 overs), Andrew Tye (1/40 in 4 overs) and Hardus Viljoen (2/40 in 4 overs) were among wickets but bowled a lot of loose deliveries, giving away 13 fours and three sixes.
Gayle (40, 24 balls) batted in a manner only he can as he cleared his front leg and hit those towering sixes before Pandya brothers joined hands to send him back to the dug-out after an opening stand of 53.
Gayle failed to get required elevation off a Krunal delivery and Hardik caught him in the deep. Rahul was barely into double figures when Gayle got out.
The talented Rahul was unbeaten on 71 off 57 balls with KXIP reaching the 177-run target in only 18.4 overs. This was KXIP's second win in three games while MI lost their second game.