Win keeps Punjab alive

Visitors get home with seven balls to spare

Last updated: 13th May 2011  

Win keeps Punjab alive

Dinesh Karthik: match-winning innings

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Dinesh Karthik smashed 69 off just 33 balls to fire Kings XI Punjab to a sensational six-wicket victory over Kochi Tuskers.

Punjab overhauled Kochi's 178-7 in 18.5 overs to keep their semi-final hopes alive.

Kochi captain Mahela Jayawardene's half-century and a four-wicket burst from RP Singh were in vain, as the debutants' interest in the tournament came to an end after five wins from 12 matches.

Batting first after losing the toss, Jayawardene and Brendon McCullum got Tuskers off to a flyer with 80 in the first eight overs.

Bipul Sharma gave Punjab the breakthrough by trapping McCullum (32 off 27 balls), but Jayawardene carried on, adding 65 runs with Ravindra Jadeja (17) and Owais Shah (23 off 12).

Kochi had reached 164-4 after 17 overs when Shah ran himself out, allowing Punjab to pull it back.

Despite a 52-ball 76 from Jayawardene, Kochi only got 75 runs off the last 10 overs and finished at 178-7, having at one time looked set to pass 200.

In the hunt

Paul Valthaty, Shaun Marsh and Karthik kept Punjab in the hunt despite Adam Gilchrist falling cheaply.

Paceman Singh's double strike helped him regain the IPL's highest wicket-taker honour from Lasith Malinga (59).

Marsh and Karthik took the score to 84-2 at halfway needing to score at nearly 10 per over in the remainder, but the third-wicket pair blasted 31 in the next two overs to keep Punjab on track.

Karthik then hit successive sixes off Jadeja on his way to his half-century off just 24 balls, which also marked his 100-run stand with Marsh off 50 balls as the required rate dropped to under seven.

Singh's return to the attack gave a scare to Punjab as a free-hitting Karthik (69 off 33) and Marsh (42 off 30) fell to the paceman in the 15th over.

But Mandeep Singh and David Hussey hit a four each off Vinay Kumar to bring the requirement down to 18 from as many balls.

Mandeep (15 not out) and Hussey (21no) knocked off the remaining runs to complete the victory.

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