Kings XI Punjab kept their faint hopes of making the play-offs alive by beating Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League here Thursday.
Contributions from skipper Adam Gilchrist (42), Shaun Marsh (45) and David Miller (44 not out) ensured Punjab post 171 for four. The bowlers were able to restrict Delhi to 164 for seven in the first of the two matches to be played at the picturesque HPCA Stadium. The performance of young pacer Sandeep Sharma (3/23) stood out.
Punjab remain sixth in the standings with 14 points and need to win their next match here against the Mumbai Indians to have any chance of progressing in the tournament.
Delhi experienced a dreadful start to the chase with three batsmen back in the hut for 12 runs. Much of the damage was done by Sharma, who struck twice in the fourth over, getting Irfan Pathan and David Warner caught behind off successive out-swingers.
The recovery task was with captain Jayawardene (39) and Virender Sehwag (30), who came out to bat in the middle order.
The situation got worse for the visitors when Awana had Sehwag caught by keeper Gilchrist. They now needed 111 off the last 54 balls.
Jayawardene and Ben Rohrer forged a 50-run partnership but could not keep up with the rising required run rate.
Rohrer’s 49 off 29 balls kept the interest in the game till the end.
Kings XI Punjab rode on David Miller and captain Adam Gilchrist's whirlwind knocks to post a challenging 171 for four.
Earlier, Miller scored an unbeaten 44 off just 24 balls towards the end, while Gilchrist made 42 off 26 balls upfront. Shaun Marsh also played a sedate 44-ball 45-run knock to help Kings XI's cause.
Sent into bat, Gilchrist got Kings XI off to a blazing start racing the hosts to the 50-run mark in the sixth over. Gilchrist sent the Delhi bowlers on a leather hunt from the word go. He was particularly severe on Ashish Nehra (2/38) as he clobbered the left-arm pacer to all parts of the ground to pick up 27 runs off the bowlers opening two overs.
Gilchrist was going great guns before perishing while going for one too many big shots, caught by Irfan Pathan off his own bowling in the eight over. Her hit five fours and two towering sixes.
After the initial onslaught, the Delhi bowlers manged to put brakes on the scoring as Kings XI squandered a bright start to find themselves at 103 for two in the 15th over.
Once Gilchrist departed at the team score of 60, Kings XI's run rate dropped considerably as the hosts scored just 43 runs in the next seven overs losing the wicket of Azhar Mahmood (9). Mahmood was caught by Siddharth Kaul off Nehra.
Marsh and Miller then stepped up the tempo and smashed Umesh Yadav for two fours and a six to pick up 16 runs off the 16th over.
Marsh, however, departed in the next over, caught at long-on by Pathan off Morne Morkel (1/22). He struck seven fours during his scratchy 44-ball knock.
In Miller's company R Satish's played a 13-ball 22-run cameo before being caught by Ben Rohrer off Nehra in the penultimate ball off the innings.
Miller, however, ensured that Kings XI cross the 170-run mark, hitting Nehra for a four off the last ball. The South African struck three boundaries and four sixes during his knock.
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