Kings XI Punjab 123-4 (Gilchrist 64no) beat
Chennai Super Kings 120-7 by six wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Dharmasala
Adam Gilchrist guided the Kings XI Punjab to a massively important six-wicket win over the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League 2012 in Dharmasala.
The victory keeps their slim chances of making the play-offs alive while it puts Chennai in a precarious position having completed their group fixtures.
Kings XI were fully deserving victors having been outstanding with the ball and Gilchrist's half-century ensuring they chased down a modest target in impressive fashion.
Gilchrist returned to the Kings XI side after a lengthy absence through injury and his first input was to win the toss and invite Chennai to bat first.
His bowlers then turned on an excellent performance, Praveen Kumar quickly removing openers Murali Vijay (10) and Michael Hussey (7) to set the tone for the innings.
Suresh Raina hit 17, including two sixes as he took on the short ball, before he was caught by Gilchrist off Azhar Mahmood and Parvinder Awana dismissed Mahendra Singh Dhoni for six and Ravi Jadeja for 13.
Holding the innings together was Dwayne Bravo, who hit 48 in 43 balls with two fours and three sixes, and almost put Gilchrist back on the sidelines, almost hitting the Australian in the end as he showed his frustration at missing out on a run-scoring opportunity with a swing of the bat as Gilchrist was moving forward at the end of an over.
Both players could see the funny side and but for Bravo's excellence, Chennai would have struggled to reach three figures.
Albie Morkel made 14 in eight balls and he too fell to Mahmood, who along with Kumar and Awana, returned two wickets.
Ryan Harris was the man who dismissed Bravo, Gilchrist taking one of four catches as he made a happy return to playing.
Gilchrist's stunning return continued when he blasted an unbeaten half-century to carry his side to a commanding win.
He smashed 64 not out in 45 balls and put on an opening partnership worth 51 inside seven overs with Mandeep Singh, who made 24 in 21 ball.
The KIngs XI familiar woes when chasing returned, however, as Nitin Saini (1), David Hussey (9) and Siddhart Chitnis (11) lost their wickets cheaply.
With Gilchrist at the crease, the King XI were always overwhelming favourites to complete the job and they did so in the end with three overs and three balls to spare.
Gilchrist showed he had lost none of his touch, sharpness and power, striking nine fours and two sixes to keep his side in the competition.
They need to win their final game against Delhi Daredevils and hope other results go their way while for Chennai, theirs is a waiting game having completed their fixtures and in danger of being overtaken in fourth place.
© Cricket World 2012