Kings XI Beat Delhi To Continue Play-Off Push

Kings XI Beat Delhi To Continue Play-Off Push
Kings XI Beat Delhi To Continue Play-Off Push
©REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Kings XI Punjab 170-6 (Valthaty 62) beat
Delhi Daredevils 141-8 (Chawla 3-16) by 29 runs
Indian Premier League 2011, Dharamsala

Kings XI Punjab kept alive their hopes of a play-offs berth, beating Delhi Daredevils by 29 runs in game 60 of the Indian Premier League 2011.

At cool Dharamsala, they kept their collective calm to end up victors, though still needing wins in their remaining two matches to mathematically stay in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Put into bat, Punjab rode their way to a challenging total on a bouncy pitch and a fast outfield. Adam Gilchrist left early in the fourth over, but Paul Valthaty made good of the many chances afforded to him by Delhi’s sloppy fielding.

They missed run-out chances and dropped catches, making it plain obvious why they have struggled this season. Valthaty was joined by Shaun Marsh and the duo put on 102 runs for the second wicket, giving Kings XI the platform they were looking for.

The fifty came up in the eighth over and by the end of the first time-out they were only at 64 for one but accelerated soon after. 18 runs came off the 11th over and then 25 were taken off the 13th over as both batsmen combined power with placement, picking boundaries and sixes at will.

Valthaty completed his half-century and scored 62 runs off 50 balls, with six fours and three sixes. Marsh fell four short of his fifty, making 46 runs off 28 balls, including five fours and three sixes. Both were knocked over by Irfan Pathan off consecutive balls in the 15th over, but Dinesh Karthik avoided any collapse and provided the final flourish with 27 off 19 balls. It helped Kings XI finish at 170 for six from their 20 overs.

The chase depended totally on how Delhi Daredevils would come out to bat. Their opening batsmen reflected sanity for a long while, making a sedate start. David Warner and Naman Ojha put on 52 for the first wicket.

But from then on, they lost the plot, losing wickets with regularity and without any hope of a comeback. The introduction of Shalabh Srivasatava and Piyush Chawla was a double blow for Delhi, as they picked five wickets between them to wreck the top and middle order.

By the 15th over, Delhi had been reduced to 97 for six and the chase was long dead. Travis Birt and Morne Morkel wagged the tail a bit, but that only got them up to 141 for eight in the end. Although it seemed a total to save some pride, in truth, the visitors’ fragile batting was never in contention for a successful chase.

Chetan Narula

© Cricket World 2011