Deccan Chargers beat the Kings XI Punjab by 5 wickets
Defending champions Deccan Chargers got into the tussle for semifinal spot with a five-wicket win over cellar-dwellers Kings XI Punjab in their IPL match at Dharamsala on Friday. Subhash Rajta reports.cricket Updated: Apr 17, 2010 07:32 IST
Mahela Jayawardene's belligerent unbeaten 93 and Kumar Sangakkara's brisk half-century powered Kings XI Punjab to 174 for three against Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League in Dharamsala on Friday.
Put into bat, the Punjab side lost opener Shaun Marsh in he first over but the 86-run stand between Sangakkara (52 of 37 balls) and Jayawardene shored up the innings.
Jayawardene cashed in on the live he got when batting on 12 and provided the late charge with an unbeaten 62-ball knock studded with 13 fours and two sixes.
Earlier, Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist played safe on an unpredictable pitch, asking Kings XI Punjab to bat first and as if to justify the decision, Ryan Harris struck in the very first over.
Shaun Marsh could only manage a faint edge that nestled into Gilchrist's gloves behind the stumps as the Australian left-hander departed with a golden duck against his name.
Deccan didn't get another chance to celebrate in the next 10 overs with the Sri Lankan duo of Sangakkara and Jayawardene stitching together an 86-run stand that propped up the Punjab side.
Jayawardene could not have prospered beyond 21 but Rahul Sharma gave him a life when he dropped the right-hander off Pragyan Ojha's bowling.
Shaun Marsh's brother in the rival camp Mitchell was pressed into service in the fourth over and Sangakkara greeted him with back-to-back boundaries.
Andrew Symonds was hit over backward square leg for a six and in the next over Sangakkara struck Ojha for two fours on the trot to cruise to a half-century but fell in the next over, courtesy a suicidal reverse sweep that went terribly wrong.
Next man in Yuvraj Singh's (20) struggle was evident as the left-hander, going through a prolonged bad patch, took seven balls to get off the mark.
In contrast, Jayawardene was on song, hitting Rohit Sharma for a six and following it with a boundary.
He inflicted more damage in the next over, hitting the hapless RP Singh for five successive fours, the first of which brought up his fifty.
The former Sri Lanka captain was not content yet. He hit Harris for back-to-back fours in the penultimate over and collected a four and six of the final over bowled by RP Singh to swell the tally.
Jayawardene's aggression could be assessed from the fact that the last five overs yielded 76 runs, costing the Punjab side just one wicket.