Kings XI Punjab 121-5 (Miller 34no) beat
Delhi Daredevils 120-7 by five wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Delhi
Report by Chetan Narula
Kings XI Punjab beat Delhi Daredevils by five wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, confirming that their victory in the last match against Mumbai Indians was certainly no fluke.
Kings XI now have eight points from seven games and are steadily climbing up the Indian Premier League 2013 table. Delhi meanwhile are back where they started, at the bottom end, with two points only.
Adam Gilchrist won the toss and put Delhi in to bat. Mahela Jayawardene again opened with Virender Sehwag and no doubt the team was looking for an encore from them, but it wasn’t to be, with Jayawardene (4) gone in the first over off Praveen Kumar (2-29).
Roelof van der Merwe (8) was sent up the order, to act as a pinch-hitter, but he failed to get going as well. The Daredevils were reduced to 22 for two in the fourth over and from thereon, all their hopes rested on Virender Sehwag.
The dasher, who stroked a brilliant 95 not out two days ago, was out for 23 runs this time. He used 21 balls and hit two fours as well as a six before he was caught off youngster Harmeet Singh (3-24), who also scalped Manprit Juneja (14) and Kedhar Jadhav (0) on the night.
The flurry of wickets completely destroyed Delhi's innings and any hopes of setting a tall target were dashed.
David Warner played a lone hand, scoring 40 runs off 36 balls, coming in lower down the order as per the new Daredevils’ plan. He hit four fours and one six, carrying the team past the 100-run mark, but there was no one else to support him, Johan Botha sixth out in the 15th over with the score on 89.
Irfan Pathan (14 not out) and Ajit Agarkar (9 not out) finished the innings at 120 for seven, a score way below par.
Chasing 121 runs, Kings XI might have taken note of the example of Sunrisers Hyderabad who had made tough work of their chase here at the Kotla couple of weeks ago.
And they had the worst start possible, with Gilchrist (6) dismissed cheaply again. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Australian legend is way out of his depth as a batsman at least, if not behind the stumps, as age seems to have caught up with him.
Mandeep Singh (24) and Luke Pomersbach (18) helped the score along, reaching the 50-run mark, before the latter was bowled by van der Merwe (1-17). Immediately off the next ball, Mandeep was run out, reducing them to 50 for three.
They suffered another blow when one of the match-winners from the previous night, Manan Vohra (8), was dismissed cheaply, caught and bowled by Botha (1-23).
But David Miller was still there and he put on 40 runs for the fifth wicket with David Hussey to steer Kings XI towards the target. Hussey made 20 runs off 21 balls, with a four and six each, but fell with victory in sight, caught off Ashish Nehra (1-28).
Miller, though, finished a second match in succession for his team, taking them across the finish line with three overs to spare, scoring 34 unbeaten runs off 39 balls, inclusive of three fours.
With this win, Kings XI have heaped pressure on Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders to play catch up quickly, and it is a mere coincidence that the two teams play tomorrow at Eden Gardens.
© Cricket World 2013
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