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NEW DELHI: A solid seam bowling performance saw revitalized Kings XI Punjab defeat Delhi Daredevils by five wickets at the Kotla on Saturday. Adam Gilchrist’s team had registered a Houdini-like escape act in their previous match against Pune Warriors; they extended their winning run here without as much drama.
Having restricted Delhi to 120/7 after sending them in, Adam Gilchrist’s men – despite another failure from the captain – ran down the requirement with three overs to spare as David Miller (34*) shepherded another chase to perfection.
Delhi did all they could in the latter half: they dismissed the beleaguered Gilchrist in the first over of the chase; arrested a rampant Luke Pomersbach (18) when he was looking to run away with it; removed Mandeep Singh (24) through a David Warner direct hit.
Manan Vohra’s caught and bowled to Johan Botha brought Punjab to 70/4 and Delhi in with a sniff. But the total proved too little to defend and it needed not much on the part of the Davids, Miller and Hussey (20), to make it a no contest: although the Aussie holed out, he left the team virtually at victory’s doorstep.
Punjab had put in the hard yards earlier. They contained Delhi to a less-than-reasonable total on a true wicket through their medium-pace troika of Parwinder Awana (1-21), Harmeet Singh (3/24) and Praveen Kumar (2/29).
Undone by tight bowling, at no stage was Delhi’s batting allowed space to flourish. Virender Sehwag, who had roared back to form in the last game against Mumbai Indians, could muster only 23 as the top three, including Mahela Jayawardene (4) and Roelof van der Merwe (8), fell to the seamers.
Warner stood alone with 40 in 36 balls, witnessing the dismissals of Manpreet Juneja and Kedhar Jadhav - both to Harmeet – but when the southpaw tried to kick on he was rattled by a perfect Kumar yorker, in the 18th over.
Delhi heaved to 120 through Irfan Pathan (14*) and Agarkar, but neither was able to hike up the scoring-rate in the face of some smart bowling and lively fielding. Delhi did gave themselves a chance by making inroads into Punjab’s batting order, but there was just too little to defend as they fell to their seventh loss in eight matches this season.