Bloemfontein: Kings XI Punjab stunned leaders Delhi Daredevils with a six-wicket victory in their Indian Premier League match on Friday to keep their semi-finals hopes alive.
After Punjab bowlers had restricted Delhi to 120-9, Kumar Sangakkara hit an unbeaten 43 to guide his side to a thrilling win with five balls to spare.
Punjab nearly made a mess of the chase, losing their top three wickets for 35 runs before Sangakkara put the innings back on track with a 53-run stand for the fourth wicket with Yuvraj Singh.
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Yuvraj (18) was dismissed with the side still needing 33 to win from 26 balls but Irfan Pathan kept his cool, hitting three sixes en route his unbeaten 21 to take his team home in their must-win tie.
Erratic Farveez Mahroof, playing his first match of the tournament, took a wicket off his first ball to finish with 2-29 while left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra conceded just six runs off his four overs while picking one wicket.
Delhi, who lead the eight-team tournament, can still make the semis even if they don’t win any of their remaining three games.
Delhi have 16 points from 11 matches, followed by Chennai (13/11), Rajasthan (13/12), Deccan (12/11), Bangalore (12/12), Mumbai (11/12), Punjab (12/12) and Kolkata (3/11).
Delhi were off to a poor start with swashbuckling openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag being sent back cheaply inside the first four overs.
Paceman Brett Lee was the most impressive bowler with 3-15 off four overs, for which he was named man of the match, while Pathan and Santhakumaran Shreesanth chipped in with two wickets each.
Dinesh Karthik top-scored with 32 and shared a 50-run stand with Mithun Manhas to lend some respectability to the total.