New Delhi:Kings XI Punjab continued with their winning momentum and beat Deccan Chargers by six wickets at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
Openers Shaun Marsh and Kumar Sangakkara laid the foundation of this win as they scored 84 runs for the first wicket. Both of them slammed half-centuries. Sangakkara smashed his second IPL half-century in 25 balls with the help of seven fours and two sixes. His first had come against Mumbai Indians.
Deccan Chargers finally got the breakthrough when after shining with the bat, Rohit Sharma struck with the ball and removed Sangakkara (50).
But that did not deter Marsh from playing his natural game and smashing his fifth IPL fifty in eight matches that he played. He scored 60 runs with the help of three fours and three sixes. He picked another 'Man of the Match' award.
Punjab skipper Yuvraj failed to play a big knock once again and chipped just 17 runs before RP Singh lunged on to a superb catch at the boundary off Pragyan Ojha's bowling. Ojha struck again and removed another dangerman Luke Pomersbach for 13 runs.
Earlier, Deccan Chargers, knowing that they have nothing to lose now in the tournament, took on the Kings XI Punjab bowlers and smashed 175 runs at the loss of four wickets.
After initial thrashing, it was expected that the Chargers would end up with a bigger total but Kings XI bowlers did a reasonable job to restrict them for an achievable total. Punjab had to wait till the 12th over to get the first wicket when Gagandeep Singh got rid off Herschelle Gibbs. Gagandeep, who came in place for Irfan Pathan, bowled Gibbs for 44 runs.
Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchrist piled 79 runs for the first wicket. Rohit Sharma, who is in ominous form, came and added 32 runs with Gilchrist. But Powar knocked off the stumps soon after Gilchrist smashed a fifty. Rohit Sharma had a similar fate as he too perished after scoring a half-century off 27 balls, only the bowler was VRV Singh.
Sreesanth stuck to his job in Irfan's absence and in the 19th over dismissed Venugopal Rao for just two runs.
Kings XI Punjab have already cruised to the semi-finals with the IPL tie between Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders being washed out on Thursday.