IPL 7: Kings XI Punjab hold their nerve to clinch thriller vs Daredevils
New Delhi: It was another nail-biter as table-toppers Kings XI Punjab held their nerves to emerge victorious by 4 wickets against Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Monday.
Chasing 165 to win, the Punjab team made a meal of their chase after a good start provided by their openers Manan Vohra and Virender Sehwag. KXIP lost wickets in quick succession in the middle with in-form batsmen Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and Wriddhiman Saha not being able to stay out in the middle.
Punjab rode on a breezy 67-run opening stand between Virender Sehwag (23) and Manan Vohra (42 off 19 balls) to overhaul the target in 19.4 overs.
Kings XI Punjab's Akshar Patel and Rishi Dhawan celebrate after their win during the IPL 7 match against Delhi Daredevils in New Delhi on Monday.
Vohra dazzled with four fours and three sixes to entertain the packed house at the Kotla as the Punjab opening duo scored 66 runs in the powerplays.
South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir (3/22) struck after the drinks -- in the seventh over -- to deny Vohra his fifty.
But, Glenn Maxwell soon brought the crowd to its feet as the orange-cap holder effortless swiped Tahir for a huge six between mid-wicket and long-on.
Feeling at home till now, Sehwag also tried to follow Maxwell and did hit a six but soon the Delhi-born chased one outside-the-off delivery to be caught at sweeper cover off Proteas off-spinner Jean-Paul Duminy.
Maxwell's (14) stay was also short-lived as Tahir cleaned up the dangerman with a perfect googly and celebrated the prized wicket with a little run in the inner circle.
But, Delhi were hungry for more as Duminy, from the other end, came around the wicket to fox an in-form David Miller (2) as the hosts sensed an upset with Punjab at 95 for four.
Wriddhiman Saha (13) and Akshar Patel (42 not out) then stitched a 33-run fifth-wicket partnership to take Punjab closer to their target.
With 38 runs required, Mohammed Shami sent back Saha to give some hope to the home crowd but Patel carried on sensibly.
The left-hand batsman hit three boundaries off Wayne Parnell to ease the pressure as a happy George Bailey (6) watched from the non-strikers end.
Bailey fell to Tahir's guile in the penultimate over but there was no twist in the tale as Rishi Dhawan (8 not out) hit the winning runs off Parnell.
After today's win, Punjab remained on top top with 18 points from 11 matches while Delhi continued to languish at the bottom with four points from 12 matches.
Delhi Daredevils batsman Dinesh Karthik celebrates his half century during an IPL 7 match against Kings XI Punjab in New Delhi on Monday. PTI
Earlier, Dinesh Karthik and Kevin Pietersen combined well upfront to help Delhi Daredevils score 164 for seven.
Karthik (69) and skipper Pietersen (49) strung together a 71-run partnership off just 48 balls for the second wicket after Murali Vijay (5) fell early.
However, barring the two, Delhi batsmen found the going tough.
J.P. Duminy (17) and Kedar Jadhav (0), who have done so well for the Daredevils this season, failed to make a mark, putting further pressure on Karthik.
Delhi could have made a bigger score but they lost their last five wickets for the addition of just 18 runs as they were 140 for two in the 17th over.
Delhi's disastrous end to their innings saw them score just 35 runs in the final four overs.
Karthik, having hit seven fours and three sixes in his crucial knock, also failed to go for the kill in the end as he went after Beuran Hendricks in the 19th over only to get out. Hendricks struck for the third time in his spell and second in the over to send Wayne Parnell out for two as Punjab checked Delhi.
The final over off Patel yielded just five runs.
Young pacer Sandeep Sharma, who has been in fine form, once again bowled in good areas, picking up three wickets and took his tally to 18 in the tournament, the same as purple cap holder - Bhuvneshwar Kumar of Sunrisers Hyderabad.