Kings XI play offs hopes hang by a thread
The Kings XI Punjab’s hopes of securing a place in the play offs suffered a major set back after they were set a run chase of 199 by the Deccan Chargers at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.
The home side suffered a miserable day in the field putting down 5 catches to allow the Chargers to reach 198-2 thanks to Shikhar Dhawan who scored 95 from just 56 deliveries which included 14 boundaries and a six to put the visitors in control.
Dwaraka Ravi Teja (60) offered the perfect support with his own half century as the Chargers made light work of the Kings XI bowling attack on a perfect batting wicket.
Dhawan and Ravi Teja got the Chargers innings off to a perfect start with an opening stand of 131, their highest of the tournament after the visitors were put into bat by Adam Gilchrist.
With so much on the line the Kings XI showed some early nerves with Ryan McLaren missing a run out and Paul Valthaty putting down a simple catch at square leg in the opening over.
The pair slowly built the foundations of a big partnership during the opening 10 overs before Ravi Teja increased the tempo by dispatching McLaren for consecutive boundaries at the end of the 11th over.
The opener followed this up with 2 sixes and another boundary off the bowling of Piyush Chawla as the Chargers looked to increase the run rate against a visibly nervous Kings XI who kept putting down simple catches.
Ryan Harris was at fault twice putting down Ravi Teja on 37 and 58 as the pressure of winning the match to stay in the hunt for a place in the play offs was starting to effect the Kings XI.
Dhawan also survived a number of chances including a run out in the 8th over which wasn’t referred to the 3rd umpire by Asad Rauf even though TV replies showed Dhawan’s bat was in the air when McLaren knocked down the stumps at the non strikers end.
The pair’s partnership was finally broken by Valthaty in the 14th over after Ravi Teja picked out Abhishek Nayar at deep mid wicket to take an easy catch which ended the Chargers mammoth opening stand.
JP Duminy (12) quickly followed but Dhawan and Cameron White (15) carried on the attack scoring 40 runs during a 3rd wicket stand to leave the Kings XI facing a big run chase to keep their play offs hopes alive.