An explosive knock of 69 off 33 balls by Dinesh Karthik helped Kings XI Punjab beat Kochi Tuskers by six wickets here Friday and kept alive their hopes of booking a play-off berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Karthik and Shaun Marsh (42) batted out the Kochi Tuskers with their 111-run stand for the third wicket as Kings XI Punjab made 181 in 18.5 overs, while chasing a target of 179 at the Holkar Stadium.
With the openers Adam Gilchrist (9) and Paul Valthaty (17) back in the pavilion in the fifth over for just 31 runs, Karthik and Marsh then smashed the Kochi bowlers all over the park and the shortened boundary made their task easy.
Karthik's 33-ball innings was studded with seven fours and five sixes while Marsh struck five fours and two sixes in his 30-ball knock.
Left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap Singh (4/25) got back Tuskers into the game by removing both Karthik and Marsh in the 15th over, but David Hussey (21 not out) and Mandeep Singh (15 not out) took Kings XI home safely without any loss. Hussey finished off the chase in style by hitting Sreesanth for a straight six.
Earlier, some erratic bowling by Kings XI Punjab saw Kochi Tuskers get a formidable 178 for seven. Kings XI Punjab bowlers gave away 23 extras, which included 19 wide balls.
Brendan McCullum (32) and Jayawardene set the foundation of the big total with their 93-run opening stand. McCullum's 32 came from 27 balls and it was studded with two fours and two sixes. Left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma broke the partnership (2/32), when he got the Kiwi batsman lbw in the ninth over.
Ravindra Jadeja (17) and Brad Hodge (4) departed in quick successions, but the flow of runs didn't stop as a cameo of 23 runs from 12 balls by England batsmen Owais Shah saw the Tuskers scoring 48 runs in the last five overs.
Shah and Jayawardene added valuable 36 runs. Jayawardene was run out in the last ball and he hit eight fours and two sixes in his 52-ball knock.