Cape Town - Proteas batsman Hashim Amla set the Kings XI Punjab up to post a total of 188/7 which would be enough for a 26-run win over the Gujarat Lions.
Both sides came into this match looking to improve on recent results having each recorded just two wins in six games in Indian Premier League (IPL).
Manan Vohra (2) went out early, as Dinesh Karthik took a sharp catch to become the first keeper to reach 100 dismissals in the IPL.
Amla then formed two critical partnerships with Aussies Shaun Marsh (30) and Glenn Maxwell (31) moving the score to 128 by the time the South African was caught and bowled by Shubham Agarwal.
The 65 off 40 balls - including 9 fours and 2 sixes - from Amla follows a brilliant hundred in the Kings XI's last outing.
In response the Gujarat Lions lost the dangerous Brendon McCullum (6) early and Aaron Finch (13) in the powerplay with the Lions sitting on 46/2.
Suresh Raina (32) couldn't repeat his heroics from last time out falling victim to a Maxwell special in the deep off the bowling of Axar.
Dinesh Kartik (58*) would bat through the remainder of the innings but failed to find the kind of support he needed although Andrew Tye's 22 off 12 balls ignited some hope before he was castled by Sandeep Sharma.
Basil Thampi (11*) struggled to keep up with the required rate and the Lions were left short and now face an uphill task of trying to qualify for the playoffs.
Skipper Raina pointed the finger of blame at the bowlers after the match: "You can't chase 190 every time. Bowlers have to do something. It's a learning curve for us. Spinners have to step up.
"We thought we could still chase it down, but while we were batting, the wicket got slower and Sandeep and Mohit bowled good slower balls and made it hard for us to hit.
"At this stage, I can't say anything. We have to go there. Couple of injury issues, but we have to win more games, we can't just talk in training. We'll go to Bangalore, regroup and hopefully we can win."