[www.inewsguyana.com] – Kings XI Punjab pulled off a last-over four-wicket win against the Delhi Daredevils at Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium. Thanks to the resulting two points, the table-toppers have officially qualified for the Playoffs – becoming the first team to do so this season.
Powered by Manan Vohra and Akshar Patel’s innings, the visitors scaled the 165-run target with four wickets in hand and two balls to spare.
Earlier, George Bailey asked DD to take first strike after he won the toss. Kevin Pietersen and Murali Vijay (5) opened the innings for the hosts. And while the DD skipper was on song, his opening partner did not last long as Sandeep Sharma dismissed him in the third over.
Dinesh Karthik then joined Pietersen in the middle and the duo went after the opposition bowlers right away. By the end of the powerplay, they took their team’s score to 55 for one. By the halfway stage, DD had posted 84 runs, thanks to the second-wicket pair’s efforts.
However, Pietersen (49) was cleaned up Akshar Patel in the next over. JP Duminy (17), who replaced him, then played second fiddle to Karthik during their valuable 56-run stand. But IPL debutant Beuran Hendricks dismissed his fellow South African in the 17th over.
Sandeep Sharma then got rid of Kedar Jadhav (0), who could only manage a golden duck. And just four balls later, the KXIP pacer got his third victim of the night when he dismissed Mayank Agarwal (6).
Thanks to a tight final two overs that went for a combined nine runs, KXIP were able to restrict DD to 164 for seven in 20 overs. For the visitors, Sandeep Sharma (3/35) and Hendricks (3/36) were the key wicket-takers, while Akshar Patel bowled a tight spell that saw him concede just 18 runs off his four overs while picking a key wicket.
KXIP’s response was fuelled by some big hitting by Manan Vohra. With the experienced Virender Sehwag holding up one end, the 20-year-old unleashed a flurry of fours and sixes to give his team a big start.
Thanks to his exploits, KXIP clocked in 66 runs in the powerplay itself. However, Vohra’s (42) 19-balls blitz came to an end in the very next over, courtesy Imran Tahir.