NEW DELHI - Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) made sure of their place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 play-offs with a four-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils (DD). Punjab struggled in their run-chase of a 165-run target, but managed to get over the line in 19.4 overs. Akshar Patel turned out to be the unlikely hero for Punjab with an unbeaten 42 off 35 deliveries.
Virender Sehwag and Vohra began the run-chase for Punjab. Wayne Parnel was entrusted with bowling the first over. He did well giving only six runs away. Mohammed Shami bowled a wide delivery outside off-stump and Sehwag slashed the ball, almost rolling back the years like, over cover for a four. Sehwag then opened the face of the bat and guided one past slips for his second four in the over.
Vohra then leant into a length delivery from Parnell and drove through cover for a four. The next delivery sailed over long-off for a six. The following delivery took the inside-edge off the bat and went past short fine-leg for a four.
Vohra had come into his own as he struck two back-to-back sixes off Shami in the fourth over. The first was a back-foot drive over deep cover and the second was a drive over long-on. Jaydev Unadkat then thought he had got the breakthrough in the fifth over as Sehwag chipped one down the ground. Imran Tahir ran backwards from mid-off and got to the ball, but could not hold onto the catch.
Things were getting out of control for Delhi as an overthrow from Kedar Jadhav went over the boundary and Vohra got five runs.
Vohra got a further four runs as he opened the face of his bat and guided a back of a length delivery from Shami towards third-man. Vohra then pulled the next delivery for a four towards wide long-on.
Vohra could not get to his half-century as he hit one from Imran Tahir straight to Murali Vijay at long-off. He was out for 42 off 19 deliveries with four fours and three sixes. Glen Maxwell was the next batsman in and he survived a LBW appeal before getting off the mark with a six over deep mid-wicket.
Sehwag then got in on the act as he reached out and creamed a wide delivery from JP Duminy over deep cover for his first six. He tried to repeat the same shot to a similar delivery, but mistimed the ball to Manoj Tiwary in the deep. Sehwag was out for 23 off 22 deliveries with two fours and one six.
Then Tahir silenced Punjab’s fans as he bowled Maxwell for 14 runs on the last delivery of the ninth over. David Miller soon followed as he charged down the track and missed with a swing to get bowled by Duminy for two runs. Punjab got to their 100 in the 11th over. They needed 65 runs off 54 deliveries from thereon.
It was then a quiet period for Punjab as Wriddhiman Saha and Akshar Patel didn’t want to lose their wickets. The odd four was scored by both batsmen, but it was not slam-bang. Saha then hit a yorker from Shami straight to Parnell at short extra-cover. Parnell appealed for a catch and the umpires reviewed it. Replays showed that Saha had hit the ball just after it had pitched and was out for 13 runs.
Akshar Patel then managed to get three fours in the 16th over bowled by Parnell. One was controversial, as Parnell looked to have struck him on the pads with a yorker in front of the stumps. But the umpire gave it as runs of the bat as it went towards third-man. Akshar then hit a low full-toss from Unadkat over deep extra-cover for a six.
Things became a little more interesting as George Bailey gave a catch to Jadhav at deep mid-wicket to hand Tahir his third wicket. Bailey was dismissed for six runs. Rishi Dhawan pulled a bouncer from Parnell in the final over for a four towards wide long-on and Punjab won the match with two deliveries remaining.
Earlier, Delhi posted a competitive total of 164 for seven in their 20 overs. Dinesh Karthik top-scored with 69 off 44 deliveries with seven fours and three sixes. Kevin Pietersen scored 49 runs off 32 deliveries with six fours and one six. Sandeep Sharma and Beuran Hendricks took three wickets each for Punjab.
The total could have been higher of not for a later innings collapse from Delhi. They lost five wickets for only 24 runs. In the end, despite Punjab losing a few wickets more than they would have liked, they won the match with two deliveries remaining.
M Vijay c Hendricks b Sandeep 5
K Pietersen b Patel 49
K Karthik c Dhawan b Hendricks 69
JP Duminy c Maxwell b Hendricks 17
K Jadhav c Maxwell b Sandeep 0
A Agarwal b Sandeep 6
K Tiwary not out 10
W Parnell c Maxwell b Hendricks 2
M Shami not out 1
EXTRAS: (lb1, w4) 5
TOTAL: (7 wkts; 20 overs) 164
FOW: 1-13, 2-84, 3-140, 4-144, 5-151, 6-155, 7-158
BOWLING: Sandeep Sharma 4-0-35-3, B Hendricks 4-0-36-3, A Patel 4-1-18-1, R Dhawan 4-0-42-0, Shivam Sharma 4-0-32-0
V Sehwag c Tiwary b Duminy 23
M Vohra c Vijay b Imran 42
G Maxwell b Imran 14
D Miller b Duminy 2
W Saha c Parnell b Shami 13
A Patel not out 42
G Bailey c Jadhav b Imran 6
R Dhawan not out 8
EXTRAS: (lb4, w11) 15
TOTAL: (6 wkts; 19.4 overs) 165
FOE: 1-67, 2-84, 3-92, 4-94, 5-127, 6-155
BOWLING: W Parnell 3.4-0-42-0, M Shami 4-0-39-1, J Unadkat 4-0-31-0, Imran Tahir 4-0-22-3, JP Duminy 4-0-27-2
UMPIRES: H Dharmasena (SL), PG Pathak
TV UMPIRE: VA Kulkarni
MATCH REFEREE: R Mahanama (SL)