Kings XI Punjab 165-6 (A Patel 42no) beat
Delhi Daredevils 164-7 by four wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Delhi
In their last Indian Premier League 2014 home game, the Delhi Daredevils were once again beaten to the finish line, this time by the Kings XI Punjab by a margin of four wickets.
The table-toppers scored 165 for six in 19.4 overs to overcome the hosts’ 164 for seven and win with two balls to spare.
With this win, Punjab have now qualified for the knockout stage of the season with 18 points from 11 games (nine wins), opening up a lead over second-placed Chennai Super Kings.
Meanwhile this was the Delhi Daredevils’ 10th loss of another poor season and they continue to languish in the last spot of the table, with four points from 12 games (two wins).
Chasing 165 for victory, the Kings XI made a brisk start thanks largely to youngster Manan Vohra who ill-treated India’s attack leader Mohammad Shami (1-39).
The 20-year-old smacked four fours and three sixes, scoring 42 runs off a mere 19 balls, as the 50-run mark came up in the fifth over. Giving him company was Delhi’s very own Virender Sehwag who scored 23 runs off 22 balls, with two fours and one six, as the opening pair put up 67 runs off 38 balls.
Much to the capacity crowd’s satisfaction, Glenn Maxwell was sent in to bat at number three, but he disappointed for once as he was dismissed for just 14 runs.
It was the second wicket for Imran Tahir (3-22) and it soon became a double jolt for Punjab as David Miller (2) was out shortly after. He was bowled by JP Duminy (2-27) as the South African ‘spin twins’ did the trick for Delhi.
Shami then got rid of his Bengal team-mate Wriddhiman Saha (13) and Tahir removed finisher captain George Bailey (6) to set up a close finish.
It came down to nine runs needed off the last six balls but Akshar Patel held his own in the middle for the Kings XI and steered them to victory. He scored 42 not out off 35 balls with five fours and one six, as the equation came down to four needed off three balls and then Rishi Dhawan (8 not out) finished the game with one swipe of his bat, denying the hosts once again.
Earlier, Punjab won the toss and elected to field first. Kevin Pietersen once again opened the innings, this time with Murali Vijay (5) but the move didn’t pay off with the latter departing cheaply in the third over.
For once it didn’t open the floodgates for the Daredevils as the skipper held his ground in company of Dinesh Karthik, as they added 71 runs for the second wicket.
They brought up the 50-run mark in the sixth over, with their fifty stand coming in only 27 balls.
Pietersen looked in good touch for the first time in the season, scoring 49 runs off 32 balls, with six fours and one six, and was unlucky not to complete his half-century as he was bowled in the 11th over by Akshar Patel (1-18).
Karthik though went on to complete his fifty and did so off 35 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes. He added 19 more runs off the next nine deliveries he faced, in all scoring 69 runs off 44 balls, including two more fours and another six.
In doing so he added 56 runs for the third wicket with Duminy, who had a rare failure in the tournament, falling for just 17 runs.
Sandeep Sharma (3-35) then provided a double blow in the 18th over, removing Kedhar Jadhav (0) and Mayank Agarwal (6) as Delhi lost all momentum in their pursuit of a challenging total.
In the end they huffed and puffed their way to a par score on this Kotla wicket, falling 10 runs short of an ideal total once again. Beuran Hendricks (3-36) played an optimum support role for Sharma and Patel for Punjab.
© Cricket World 2014