Javinder Singh | cricket20
The Kings XI Punjab kept their slim hopes of reaching the IPL play offs alive thanks to a tense 6 wicket victory over the Kochi Tuskers Kerala at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.
Dinesh Karthik and Shaun Marsh played a vital role; sharing a 3rd wicket stand of 111 to virtually end the Tuskers play off chances who failed to defend a total of 178-7 after Mahela Jayawardene scored his 3rd half century in this year’s tournament.
The pair came together in the 5th over and took advantage of the small boundaries, smashing 12 fours and 7 sixes to give the Kings XI the momentum going into the final six overs.
Karthik (69) led the way with a brilliant 24 ball half century before he was dismissed by the impressive RP Singh at the start of the 15th over; with the game in the balance Singh struck again 5 deliveries later to remove Marsh (43), leaving the Kings XI 145-4.
Despite the setback David Hussey (21) and Mandeep Singh (15) held their nerve to seal a tense 6 wicket victory with only 7 deliveries to spare after a vital 6th wicket partnership of 36.
Faced with a run chase of 179, the Kings XI got off to a poor start losing openers, Paul Valthaty (17) and Adam Gilchrist (9) early on thanks to two wickets from Singh.
Valthaty was the first to go after he was bowled by Singh in the 3rd having already dispatched two sixes at the start of the over before the bowler got his revenge.
Gilchrist quickly followed two overs later to leave the Kings XI 31-2 after 4.4 overs the Aussie edge a delivery from Singh through to wicket keeper Parthiv Patel.
Brendon McCullum and Jayawardene got the Tuskers innings off to a great start thanks to an opening stand of 93 after they were put into bat by Adam Gilchrist who won the toss for the Kings XI.
The pair smashed 8 fours and 3 sixes during their 52 ball partnership which put the Tuskers on top before McCullum was trapped LBW by Bipul Sharma in the 9th over.
The Kiwi scored 32 runs from 27 deliveries which included two boundaries and back to back sixes off the bowling of Ryan Harris in the 7th over much to the delight of the home crowd.
Having finally made the break through the Kings XI made further inroads to remove Ravindra Jadeja (17) and Brad Hodge (4) in quick succession to slow the Tuskers charge down.
Owais Shah, playing in his first game of the tournament added 23 runs before he was run out at the start of the 18th over thanks to some quick fielding by David Hussey at long off.
Having started off poorly the Kings XI bowlers fought their way back into the game during the closing stages with Parthiv Patel (0) and Raiphi Gomez (2) both departing cheaply before Jayawardene was run out from the final ball of the innings.