Sunday, 15 May 2011

Kings XI Punjab stay in hunt for play-offs

Dharamsala: Paul Valthaty and Shaun Marsh starred with the bat while leggie Piyush Chawla took three wickets to set up a 29-run victory for Kings XI Punjab over the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, here Sunday, to stay alive for the play-offs.
Kings XI Punjab, courtesy a 102-run stand by Valthaty (62) and Marsh (46), posted 170 for six and then their bowlers restricted the Daredevils to 141 for eight at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, which was hosting its first match of the fourth IPL season. 
Chawla (3/16) produced career-best figures in the tournament as he turned the ball on a pitch that also offered steep bounce to the fast bowlers.
The win here was Punjab's third successive and kept them in hunt for the play-offs. They have now moved to fifth place in the table with 12 points from 12 matches. Daredevils, already out of the competition, are at the bottom with eight points from 13 matches. 
Daredevils were off to a decent start with Naman Ojha (28) and David Warner (29) ,sharing 52 runs for the first wicket. But the visitors lost their way after the openers departed in quick succession. The asking rate kept mounting and the absence of Virender Sehwag was dearly felt.
The Daredevils lost six of their batsmen inside 100 runs and never looked like overcoming a stiff target.
The Kings XI, put into bat, amassed 100 runs in the last 10 overs.
With Valthaty and Marsh clearing boundaries at ease, anywhere near 200 looked a real possibility.
They got the measure of the difficult wicket and then took the long handle to smash the Delhi bowlers all over the park. They were helped by some sloppy fielding from the opposition who missed run outs and dropped catches at key moments. 
Valthaty was given a life on 13 as Venugopal Rao dropped a regulation catch at first slip off Morkel in the fourth over. The Mumbai-based batsman made most of the opportunity and went on to score his second fifty of the tournament, pipping Chris Gayle (436 runs) along the way for the orange cap. Valthaty has 483 runs to his name in 12 games. 
Marsh, too, was in full swing during his cracking 28-ball knock. The talented Australian hammered three sixes and two fours in Sridharan Sriram's first over and set the tone for a huge score. 
Both, however, fell to Irfan Pathan (3-28) in the 15th over that helped Daredevils pull things back a bit, but eventually, not enough. Source: IANS

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