David Hussey led a dramatic fightback with an unbeaten 35-ball 65 as Kings XI Punjab defeated Deccan Chargers by four wickets and kept alive their hopes in the Indian Premier League,here today.
Chasing an imposing target of 191,Punjab came back after being reduced to 56 for three in the eight over through skipper Hussey and youngster Gurkeerat Singh’s 29 off 12 balls towards the end.
Needing 16 off the last over,Gurkeerat slammed Manpreet Gony over deep midwicket for a six and then got a four through sweeper cover. Gurkeerat finished the chase in style,pulling the bowler over the fine-leg region.
This was Punjab’s seventh win and they would hope for positive results in their three coming matches.
Hussey hit four fours and five sixes during his swashbuckling knock and was solely responsible for the stunning win,which undid Shikhar Dhawan and Cameron White’s good work earlier in the day.
Dhawan and White struck brisk half-centuries as the Chargers posted an imposing 190 for four after they elected to bat at the PCA Stadium.
Hussey,however,had other ideas as he launched into the Chargers attack with a flurry of fours and sixes from the word go. The Aussie’s knock was even more special as Punjab needed more than 100 runs in the last 10 overs with the top four back in the pavilion.
Chasing an imposing target,Kings XI failed to get the desired start,losing Nitin Saini and Shaun Marsh with just 26 runs on the board.
Mandeep Singh chugged on for a while before getting out for 28 off 20 balls to leave Punjab in some sort of trouble. Azhar Mahmood struck a 20-ball 31 but the hosts needed more than that from the allrounder at that point of time. Punjab were lucky that they found their man in Hussey.
Earlier,Dhawan slammed 71 off 50 balls with the help of four boundaries and three sixes,while White remained unbeaten on a quickfire 67 that came off 41. He hit eight fours and a six.
Dan Christian blazed his way to 24 off 10 balls to give the impetus in the last couple of overs.
Dhawan and White joined hands and added 96 runs for the third wicket after the visitors lost Parthiv Patel and Sangakkara in quick succession.
Coming into the match with more than 450 runs under his belt in this IPL,Dhawan continued his good run of form with the bat and looked in total command in the middle.
Playing shots all round the ground,Dhawan got to his 50 off just 36 balls,his fifth in this edition of the tournament,with a single down the ground off Piyush Chawla.
White,too,was in the mood as he milked the Punjab bowlers with consummate ease.
With both Dhawan and White going strong,the 100 was up for the Chargers by the 12th over.
And then came the shot of the innings as Dhawan scooped Awana for a six over fine-leg,much to the Chargers’ delight.
To check the flow of runs,Punjab skipper David Hussey brought back pacer Ryan Harris,but White flicked him fine enough that fetched him another boundary. Punjab had a chance to hold things back when White mistimed Chawla in the first ball of the 15th over,but Harris dropped a sitter at wide long-off. The batsman was on 34 then.
If that was not enough,Chawla dropped White at extra cover,another easy offering,after the batsman added just three runs. The unlucky bowler,on that occasion,was Mahmood. White immediately took advantage of those misses,pulling Mahmood over midwicket for a boundary.
Even as White was living dangerously,Dhawan hit one straight over the bowler’s head,before holing out at third man off Praveen Kumar.
White and Christian then clobbered a few sixes off Harris and Awana to take their team to a daunting total.
Awana conceded 20 runs in the innings’ penultimate over,with Christian hitting him for two sixes.