Kings XI Punjab on the verge of playoffs

Kings XI Punjab would be desperate for a win against strugglers Delhi Daredevils when the two lock horns here today.

Adam Gilchrist
KXIP skipper Adam Gilchrist in action against RCB on Tuesday

With Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals sealing playoff berths, the fight for the fourth spot is reaching its boiling point. A win against Delhi would help Punjab to entertain hopes of making it to the top four. A loss would mean curtains for Punjab.

Punjab would be high on confidence after humbling Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday and the most satisfactory sign from that match would be Adam Gilchrist’s performance.

After being out of sorts for the bulk of the tournament, he has finally struck the right chord towards the business end of the competition. His blazing knock of 85 off just 54 balls reminded fans of the Gilchrist of old.

Azhar Mahmood too supported Gilchrist by smashing a 41-ball 61. However, David Miller, after his breathtaking century against RCB in their first leg encounter, has been lacklustre in the last three ties. He would be eager to prove a point and show consistency.

Strong bowling line-up
The bowling attack has been their strength as well with spearhead Praveen Kumar, Parvinder Awana, Manpreet Gony, Azhar Mahmood and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in their ranks.

Daredevils, on the other hand, are eighth on the points table with just six points. Nothing has gone right for them with the top order, which looks formidable on paper with the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner, Virender Sehwag and Unmukt Chand, but has failed miserably to showcase its worth, while the bowlers have been unable to stem the flow of runs.

Gilchrist’s wishlist
> He fires again.
> David Miller gets runs in the middle order.
> Azhar Mahmood makes an impact with bat and ball
> Parvinder Awana makes early inroads
> Virender Sehwag's poor form continues

Warner’s wishlist
> Sehwag gets back in the groove
> He slaps a valuable 50
> Ben Rohrer plays a cameo
> Umesh Yadav bowls miserly
> Adam Gilchrist departs early

Live on TV: Punjab vs Delhion Set Max and Sony Six, 8pm

When they last met...
Punjab had it easy against Delhi
April 23, 2013 was a stroll in the park for Kings XI Punjab as they overwhelmed Delhi Daredevils in their own backyard. Batting first, DD were restricted to a mere 120 runs by KXIP with seamer Harmeet Singh being the standout, scalping three vital wickets. The chase never got complicated for the visitors. David Miller held fort with an unbeaten 34. They won by five wickets and three overs to spare.

Brief scores: DD 120-7 (David Warner 40, Harmeet Singh 3-24) lost to KXIP 121-5 (David Miller 34*) by 5 wickets 

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