Dharamsala: Kings XI Punjab kept their faint hopes of making the play-offs alive by beating Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League here today.
Contributions from skipper Adam Gilchrist (42), Shaun Marsh (45) and David Miller (44 not out) ensured Punjab post 171 for four. The bowlers were able to restrict Delhi to 164 for seven in the first of the two matches to be played at the picturesque HPCA Stadium. The performance of young pacer Sandeep Sharma (3/23) stood out.
Punjab remain sixth in the standings with 14 points and need to win their next match here against the Mumbai Indians to have any chance of progressing in the tournament.
Delhi experienced a dreadful start to the chase with three batsmen back in the hut for 12 runs. Much of the damage was done by Sharma, who struck twice in the fourth over, getting Irfan Pathan and David Warner caught behind off successive out-swingers.
The recovery task was with captain Jayawardene (39) and Virender Sehwag (30), who came out to bat in the middle order.
The situation got worse for the visitors when Awana had Sehwag caught by keeper Gilchrist. They now needed 111 off the last 54 balls.
Jayawardene and Ben Rohrer forged a 50-run partnership but could not keep up with the rising required run rate.
Rohrer’s 49 off 29 balls kept the interest in the game till the end.
Earlier, openers Gilchrist and Marsh thrived in batting friendly conditions, taking Punjab to 56 in seven overs.
The Aussie duo enthralled the packed house with some high quality hitting. Gilchrist was the attacker initially while Marsh used the long handle well in the middle overs.
Their dismissal brought the destructive Miller at the crease. The South African gave the innings the required momentum by plundering 44 off 24 balls.
One of his four sixes went out of the ground and the other hit the roof on the straight.