Preity Zinta’s prayers were answered on Friday as her team beat the rampant Delhi Daredevils and kept their hopes of a last-four spot alive. A disciplined performance with the ball was followed by an effective batting display, handing them victory by six wickets.
Yuvraj Singh chose to chase rather than set a target and his bowlers did not let him down, keeping the Daredevils down to 120 for 9 from 20 overs.
The Daredevils, who could afford to make some changes to their side, rested Dirk Nannes and gave Farveez Maharoof a game. Daniel Vettori too returned to the side after a five-game break as David Warner made his exit.
The unique Mangaung Cricket Oval filled to its 20,000 capacity as the venue got its first taste of the IPL. Aside from corporate boxes, the presidential suites and the upper layer of one side of the ground, the rest is grass banks. The crowd would have preferred a tall scoring match and were disappointed on that front as the Daredevils struggled to score against a disciplined KXIP attack. On a pitch that was on the slower side Delhi lost their four prime batsmen early.
Dinesh Karthik and the seasoned Mithun Manhas were left to shore up the innings and they scored at a run a ball, but T20 cricket demands a but more than that, and the eventual 120 that Delhi managed. The Kings XI stumbled early, but Kumar Sangakkara ensured that his team did not slip up in the face of a modest target.
Delhi Daredevils: G Gambhir run out 8 (11b), V Sehwag c Sangakkara b Lee 9 (8b, 2x4), T Dilshan c Yuvraj Singh b Sreesanth 10 (19b, 1x4), AB de Villiers c Yuvraj Singh b Sreesanth 11 (11b, 1x4), M Manhas c Sohal b Mota 26 (25b, 2x4), D Karthik c Mota b Pathan 32 (29b, 1x6), M Maharoof b Lee 3 (8b), D Vettori c Sohal b Pathan 1 (2b), R Bhatia c Chawla b Lee 0 (1b), P Sangwan not out 5 (5b), A Nehra not out 1 (1b)
Extras (lb 7, w 7) 14; Total (9 wickets) 120
Fall of wkts: 1-19, 2-20, 3-46, 4-51, 5-101, 6-104, 7-111, 8-111, 9-116
Bowling: Lee 4-1-15-3 (2w), I Pathan 4-0-22-2, Chawla 3-1-16-0 (1w), Sreesanth 4-0-20-2 (2w), Powar 3-0-20-0 (2w), Y Singh 1-0-14-0, Mota 1-0-6-1.
Kings XI Punjab innings: S Sohal b Nehra 3 (12b), S Katich c Karthik b Maharoof 20 (10b, 2xr4, 1x6), L Pomersbach c de Villiers b Maharoof 9 (8b, 2x4) Y Singh c Sehwag b Sangwan 18 (31b, 1x4), K Sangakkara not out 43 (47b, 6x4), I Pathan not out 21 (11b, 3x6)
Extras: (lb-2, w-3, nb-4) 9; Total: (for 4 wkts in 19.1 ovs) 123
Fall of wkts: 1-22, 2-35, 3-35, 4-88
Bowling: A Nehra 4-1-6-1, P Sangwan 4-0-42-1, M Maharoof 4-0-29-2, D Vettori 3.1-0-15-0, R Bhatia 3-0-22-0, T Dilshan 1-0-7-0.