Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would be looking to seal off their position among the top two teams in the Play-offs when they take on Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in an away match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 10 on Tuesday. He hit eight boundaries and four sixes in his 39-ball 74 and scored more than half his runs hitting down the ground. Openers Dwayne Smith (74, 3b, 8x4, 4x6) and Ishan Kishan (29, 24b, 3x4) laid a solid platform - the duo scored at nearly 10 an over to raise 91 runs in 9.3 overs - to set up the chase at the PCA Stadium while the rest followed the script.
Together with Ishan Kishan (29 off 24 balls), Smith shared 91 runs for the opening partnership to lay the foundation for the chase. This was Amla's second century in the current edition of the tournament. Hashim Amla, a batsman of Punjab leaves no stone unturned and tried his best by scoring 104 in just 60 balls, to make Punjab win. For Punjab, the form of their skipper Glenn Maxwell has been a cause of concern.
From here on, it will be a Herculean task for Kings XI to qualify for the play-offs as they not only will have to win their remaining three games but their fate will also depend on the outcome of other games. KXIP made things hard for themselves by not holding onto the chances that came their way; Smith was put down twice - on 42 (by David Miller) and on 51 (by Gurkeerat Mann), while was let Raina off when he was on 36.
Smith was dropped twice during his innings before eventually holing out off the bowling of Glenn Maxwell.
Smith's 39-ball masterful knock ended when Maxwell (1-21) had the former West Indian batsman holed out at deep midwicket. Punjab had bundled out Daredevils for 67 the other night, while they defended a modest 138-7 by dismissing RCB for 119 to register a 19-run win last night. When four overs were left and GL needed only 32 runs and had lost only two wickets, it seemed this was a game that was theirs to lose. Amla nearly had his innings cut short when Ravindra Jadeja couldn't latch on to a hard chance at point.
Marsh breezed to 58 before he was caught at long-on by fellow Australian Aaron Finch, in the process giving licence to Amla to up the ante.
The duo struck boundaries at will as the notched up their 100-run stand for the second wicket in the 13th over. Marsh departed in the 16th over after a fine innings. He might not have started too well in the first six overs of the match, but it was during the middle stages of the game and the final few overs, where Amla came onto his own.