Kings XI Punjab coasted to a comfortable 6-wicket win with 7 balls to spare against Kochi Tuskers Kerala despite chasing a high target of 179. On what was a greenish looking pitch at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Kochi asked to bat first got off to a stupendous start of 93 for 1 inside 9 overs. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was the star of the innings making 76 from 52 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes while Owais Shah chipped in with a useful cameo of 23 from 12 balls which included 2 sixes.
In the second half, Kochi Tuskers seemed to be in control when they got Kings XI down to 31 for 2 inside 5 overs after removing the explosive Valthaty and Gilchrist. However, their joy was short lived as Dinesh Karthik joined Shaun Marsh to power Kings XI Punjab closer to the target in the next 10 overs. Dinesh Karthik struck the ball beautifully to come up with a dream knock of 69 from just 33 balls with 7 fours and 5 sixes. Marsh scored 42 from 30 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes. There was a bit of pressure on Kings XI when they lost these two batsmen in the 15th over. With 34 needed to win from the final 5 overs, David Hussey stood up to the task to score a match winning unbeaten 21 from 15 balls to take Kings XI to the victory. Amongst the Kochi bowlers, RP Singh was brilliant taking 4 for 25 in his 4 overs while the other bowlers took a beating.
- BV Swagath