Overnight rains meant the Mohali track had lost its usual bounce. The KXIP bowlers relished the conditions and exploited them to hilt to bring an end to Pune Warriors' two-match winning streak.
England's T20 journeyman Dimitri Mascarenhas finally cashed in on the conditions while Aussie Shaun Marsh used every bit of his experience to not only bat through the innings but guide his team to a seven-wicket win.
Ever since his twitter outburst against the English selectors in 2010 for dropping him, Mascarenhas has been in the shadows. A handy all-rounder, he never realised his full potential and immersed himself in playing county cricket for Hampshire and the IPL, first for Rajasthan Royals before being bought by Kings XI Punjab in 2011 auctions. He also represented Otago Volts, New Zealand, in the Champions League.
On the mark
Today he found the track tailor-made for him. Not only was he accurate but he also found help from the track to snap five wickets and restrict Pune Warriors to a meagre total.
Pune batsmen found the going tough. Jesse Ryder was run out after a mix up with skipper Sourav Ganguly and Mascarenhas then delivered twin blows in the sixth over, claiming Ganguly and Marlon Samuels with sharp deliveries. Thereafter it was downhill for the visitors as wickets fell at regular intervals.
Mascarenhas came back again to pick two more wickets in the 18th over to skittle Pune for the lowest score of the season.
Marsh finds form
KXIP had the worst possible start with Ashok Dinda cleaning up Paul Valthaty of the very first delivery.
Skipper Gilchrist and Marsh then soaked up the pressure and stitched together 50 runs for the second wicket.
Marsh though given two chances by Pune Warriors held one end end up and punched boundaries at will. He started with a four, pulling Dinda over extra cover, and later found support in Piyush Chawla (15) to knock off the runs.