Skipper David Hussey and Gurkeerat Singh fashioned an unlikely four-wicket win for Kings XI Punjab in a thrilling last-ball finish against Deccan Chargers here on Sunday to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the playoffs in the Indian Premier League (IPL-5).
Deccan won the toss and elected to bat first. Shikhar Dhawan gave them a lively start but they lost Parthiv Patel, for 18 runs off 16 balls, in the sixth over.
Kumar Sangakkara too failed to get going, out for just one run off four balls. The scoreboard read 49 for two in the seventh over when Cameron White joined Dhawan at the crease.
They added 96 runs for the third wicket and they came in good time, off 60 balls. Dhawan was out in the 17th over when their partnership was finally broken. He scored 71 runs off 50 balls, with four fours and three sixes.
White and Daniel Christian then teed off and set an improbable target. Christian hit 24 off ten balls, including one four and two sixes. White smacked 67 runs off 41 balls, with eight fours and one six, as Deccan reached 190 for four.
Kings XI got off to a bad start when Nitin Saini was out for three runs. Their in-form batsman Shaun Marsh was out for 11 runs, both batsmen accounted for by Christian. The score read 26 for 2.
Mandeep Singh and Azhar Mahmood then tried to rebuild, but were only able to add 30 runs. Mandeep was out for 28 off 20 balls, with five fours to his name. Mahmood and David Hussey then brought Kings back into the match with a 44-run stand.
With the fall of Mahmood in the 13th over, the match seemed slipping away from them. He was out for 31 off 20 balls, with two fours and one six. The score was 100 for four at that juncture, and with Siddharth Chitnis and Piyush Chawla falling cheaply the writing was on the wall.
At 149 for six, Gurkeerat Singh came to the fore and threw the bat. He connected well and smacked 29 runs off 12 balls, with four fours and one six, taking them to victory in the last over.
Hussey was unbeaten on 65 off 35 balls, with four fours and five sixes, as Deccan were consigned to their 11th defeat of the season.