[www.inewsguyana.com] – Kings XI Punjab clocked in a massive seven-wicket win against the Delhi Daredevils in Mohali, after dismissing the bottom-placed side for 115, the KXIP batters ensured their side got over the line with seven wickets in hand and 6.1 overs to spare.
Earlier, KXIP asked DD to bat first upon winning the toss while Kevin Pietersen came out with a positive mindset, he got virtually no support at the end. The Daredevils lost Mayank Agarwal (2) in the third over; he was dismissed by Mitchell Johnson. Dinesh Karthik (13) came to bat at No.3, and while he struck three fours during his seven-ball knock, he returned to the dugout without making a big impact – courtesy Parvinder Awana – leaving DD on 44 for two and a few balls later, Awana also got rid of Kedar Jadhav (0) to rock the visitors on the back foot.
Pietersen, meanwhile, rallied on and brought up his team’s 50 by the end of the seventh over but soon, he lost yet another batting ally, when Manoj Tiwary (8) was run out in the 10th over by the halfway stage; DD had scored 69 runs for the loss of four wickets. However, undeterred by the procession of wickets at the other end, Pietersen brought up his half-century in the 11th over with a strike to the boundary but his liaison with JP Duminy (8) came to an end, when the latter was foxed by the leg-spin of Karanveer Singh in the 13th over and then, Rishi Dhawan broke Pietersen’s (58) resistance in the next over, when he had the DD skipper trapped leg-before.
Jimmy Neesham and Shahbaz Nadeem (2*) then took their team’s total past 100 in the 15th over. However, after adding 17 runs for the seventh wicket, Karanveer Singh struck again, to dismiss Neesham (12). Akhaar Patel then dealt a double-blow in the 18th over to get rid of Mohammed Shami (0) and Imran Tahir (4) in quick succession Mitchell Johnson then got rid of Jaydev Unadkat (0) to wrap up the DD innings for 115 in 18.1 overs.
In response, KXIP lost two big wickets early on. Shami dismissed Virender Sehwag (9) in the third over, and then, Unadkat gave his team a major breakthrough by getting the better of Glenn Maxwell (0) in the very next over. However, Manan Vohra (47) and David Miller (47*) ensured there were no further hiccups as the duo took their side within four runs of the target. During their 60-ball partnership, they struck a total of eight fours and three sixes as they dispatched any loose offerings from the DD bowlers to and over the fence. And while both of them missed out on much deserved half-centuries, thanks to their efforts, KXIP finished the league stage with 22 points to cap off a dominant regular season that saw them lose only thrice in 14 games.
The only consolation for the Daredevils was the fact that Vohra (47) was cleaned up by Imran Tahir with the KXIP score on 112. Miller (47*) eventually sealed the game with a maximum, as his team got over the line in 13.5 overs with seven wickets in hand. The table-toppers now face the Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on May 27 in Qualifier 1.