Kings XI Punjab 156-8 (Mandeep Singh 56) beat
Chennai Super Kings 149-8 by seven runs
Indian Premier League 2012, Chennai
Picking a winner of the Indian Premier League 2012 becomes no easier following Kings XI Punjab's shock seven-run win over the Chennai Super Kings.
The defending champions wasted an opportunity to move to second place, considering that Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore (all equal on nine points) play later tonight.
Punjab won the toss and elected to bat first, with Mandeep Singh and Shaun Marsh giving them a good start. They added 68 runs for the first wicket before Marsh was run out in the ninth over, making 32 off 22 balls, with four fours and one six.
It affected the Kings' batting greatly as after all he has been their most consistent and feared batsman in the history of this tournament. Mandeep though carried on and completed his half-century, scoring 56 off 50 balls, including five fours and one six.
But their big problem was that no other batsman stepped up to support them. Only Azhar Mahmood (18) and David Miller (19) passed double figures as Chennai squeezed them for runs in the latter part of the innings.
Instead of the spinners though, the medium pacers did the job for the hosts, as Nuwan Kulasekara (one for 29), Albie Morkel (three for 29) and Dwayne Bravo (two for 28) helped restrict Kings XI to 156 for eight.
It was a near-par score for the Chennai track as Francois du Plessis and Subramaniam Badrinath carried on with their consistency at the top of the order, adding 47 runs for the first wicket.
But when du Plessis (29 off 20 balls, three fours, two sixes) was caught and bowled by Mahmood, things turned for the worse.
Two overs later, Mahmood got Badrinath (25 off 18 balls, four fours) as well to trigger a collapse as Chennai fell from 62 for two to 98 for six in the 15th over.
Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were all out cheaply. Only Bravo tried to salvage something out of this, as he put up 30 runs off 21 balls.
But wickets kept falling around him and he wasn't able to save the day for Chennai.
Mahmood took three for 25 and Piyush Chawla finished with two for 20 in their four overs respectively to give Kings XI a fighting chance of featuring in latter stages of the tournament.
© Cricket World 2012