A Hashim Amla century and a late flourish from Glenn Maxwell, many thought that was enough for Kings XI Punjab to get over the line against Gujarat Lions on Sunday. However, Dwayne Smith had other idea and his 74-run blitz helped Gujarat win by six wickets, and also put a massive dent on Punjab's hopes of reaching the IPL 2017 play-offs. Captain Maxwell pointed the finger at his bowlers and fielders and said that the defeat at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali was "pretty devastating".
Punjab scored 189 for three after being put into bat with Amla notching his second hundred this season. Smith smashed 74 off 39 balls to help Gujarat chase down the target with two balls to spare.
"Pretty devastating," Maxwell said after the loss.
"189 was enough, the bowlers and fielders let us down. We dropped three crucial catches. We haven't won a heap of games in a row. We've had to scrap. Unfortunately, we'll lose Hashim and David Miller now, and we'll have to look deep in our reserves and regroup," he added.
Gujarat captain Suresh Raina said the win was a morale booster for the youngsters in his team even though they have no chance of reaching the play-offs.
"We had too many injuries (this year). (But) still a good season for the youngsters," he said.
He lauded openers Dwayne Smith and Ishan Kishan for setting the platform for the comfortable win.
"Smithy (Smith) and Ishan gave us the platform and later on me and DK (Dinesh Karthi) had a good partnership. I think it was about six-over partnerships.
"Sandy (Sandeep Sharma) and Mohit (Sharma) bowled brilliantly in between, but me and DK rotated the strike really well. When you're chasing 190, you need a good start, and that's what we've had in the last couple of matches," he said.
Man-of-the-match, Smith, who struck a whirlwind 74 up the order, said overall he was disappointed with his performances this season.
"(I's) still disappointed about my performances over the past games. I think my natural game is like that, it was just about staying out there as long as possible, and if I do that we'll stay in front of the run rate," he said.
"I knew once I stay out there, runs will come for sure. We're already out of the tournament, so we can't worry about that, we just need to keep going on and look to damage some other teams as well," Smith said.
(With PTI Inputs)