Kings XI beat Deccan Chargers, keep alive semi-final hopes (Lead)

May 9th, 2009 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Kimberley, May 9 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab kept alive their hopes of making the semi-finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by pulling off a thrilling three-wicket victory over Deccan Chargers at the De Beers Diamond Oval here Saturday.
Set a target of 169, Kings XI romped home with just one ball to spare after Man of the Match Mahela Jayawardene scored a match winning 43 off 28 balls.

Comeback man Andrew Symonds’s power-packed unbeaten 60 was of no avail as Deccan Chargers’ bowlers failed to defend their challenging 168 for five.

With the win, Kings XI jumped to the fifth spot with 10 points from as many matches while Deccan Chargers remained at the fourth spot with 10 points from nine matches.

Kings XI skipper Yuvraj Singh’s decision to bowl first took everyone by surprise as Deccan Chargers openers Adam Gilchrist (20) and Herschelle Gibbs (13) gave them a run away start.

Symonds, who flew in from United Arab Emirates (UAE) Friday, came in with Deccan Chargers comfortably placed at 70 for three. Along with Venugopal Rao (32), the burly Australian added 95 crucial runs for the fifth wicket that took Deccan Chargers to a winnable position.

Deccan went past 100 in the 15th over, after which Symonds began attacking. He hit four sixes and two fours in his 36-ball innings and was particularly severe on Sreesanth, slamming him for two sixes and a four in an over in which the bowler conceded 20 runs.

The only bowler who commanded some respect from the Deccan Chargers’ batsmen was Brett Lee. The 32-year-old Lee, who is coming back from an ankle injury, gave away just 24 runs from his four overs and picked up the important wicket of Rohit Sharma.

Kings XI also got a steady start, but Rohit pulled back things for Deccan Chargers by picking up the wickets of Sunny Sohal (30) and Simon Katich (9) in the fifth over.

Syed Mohammad Shoaib dismissed Kumar Sangakkara (25) and Yuvraj (18) in one over to put Deccan Chargers in the driver’s seat. But it was the calm and composed 43 from Jayawardene that took Kings XI to within sniffing distance of a win. Lee then held his nerves with an unbeaten 14 to see Kings XI through with one ball remaining.

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