Kings XI stay in hunt after thrashing Daredevils (Lead)

May 16th, 2009 - 2:03 am ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Bloemfontein, May 16 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab stayed in contention for a semi-final berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a comprehensive six-wicket win over table toppers Delhi Daredevils here Friday.
Daredevils, already in the semi-finals, stayed on top of the table with 16 points from 11 matches while Kings XI moved up to the sixth place with 12 points from 12 matches. Kings XI, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers all have 12 points each and will battle it out for the fourth semi-final berth. Deccan Chargers, however, have played one match less than Kings XI and Bangalore.

After deciding to field at the OUTsurance Oval, Kings XI bowlers led by speedster Brett Lee restricted the formidable Delhi Daredevils to 120 for nine in 20 overs. Man of the Match Lee picked up three for 15. Kumar Sangakkara then made a composed unbeaten 43 and Irfan Pathan (21 not out) hit three sixes in the later stages of the game as Kings XI made 123 for four with five balls to spare.

Kings XI also avenged the humiliation they faced at the hands of Delhi in their previous encounter, with Daredevils winning that match by 10 wickets via the Duckworth Lewis Method.

Kings XI now have to win their last two matches by big margins to improve their run rate but their semi-final hopes will largely depend on the outcome of other games.

In a low scoring chase, Daredevils bowlers did well to stretch Kings XI to the last over but Sangakkara’s 47-ball innings took Kings XI to home safely. They started their chase with Simon Katich hitting a 10-ball 22, but double strikes from Farveez Maharoof reduced Kings XI to 35 for three.

Yuvraj Singh (18) and Sangakkara then stitched together a 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket to take Kings XI to safe shores. It was a slow innings from Yuvraj, who needed 31 balls for his 31 while Sangakkara did the bulk of the scoring.

In the end, Pathan came out firing on all cylinders and scored 21 runs off just 11 balls to end Daredevils’ four-match winning streak. Pathan’s small cameo was studded with three sixes.

Put in to bat, Daredevils’ openers failed to read the pace of the track. Sehwag (9), who promoted himself up the order, failed to perform while Gautam Gambhir (8) found himself short of the crease while attempting a second run.

Dinesh Karthik (32) and Mithun Manhas (26) played some brisk knocks to help Daredevils put up a respectable total on the board.

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