Mohali, May 8 (IANS) Spurred by an all-round effort from Australian Marcus Stoinis, Kings XI Punjab registered a 9 run win over Delhi Daredevils at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here on Saturday to stay alive in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Chasing 182, Delhi squandered a perfect start to fall short after skipper Zaheer Khan won the toss and elected to field.
Openers Quinton de Kock (52 of 30 balls) and Sanju Samson (49) forged together a 70-run stand to lay a good foundation but disciplined bowling from Punjab, led by Stoinis (3/40) put the brakes on Delhi’s chase.
South African De Kock looked set for another big innings but his stay was cut short by a brilliant off-cutter from Stoinis which Axar Patel grabbed at backward point. His innings was laced with six boundaries and two sixes.
His fall did not deter the team as Samson went on to add another 51 runs for the second wicket with Karun Nair (23).
Samson, however, in an attempt to get to his half century, failed to read a slower off-cutter from Stoinis to dole out a simple catch to Glenn Maxwell at the long on boundary. His 35-ball effort included four boundaries and a six.
Nair, who got a life on 19 after being dropped by David Miller following a mix-up with Maxwell, failed to make the opportunity count as he soon joined Samson in the dug-out after adding another four runs.
Delhi’s chase seemed to be derailed as four quick wickets fell within a span of 22 runs. English power-hitter Sam Billings attempted to flash a short delivery only to be caught behind by stumper Wriddhiman Saha giving Stoinis his third wicket, while pacer Sandeep Sharma came back to pack West Indian Carlos Brathwaite (12) to reduce Delhi to 153 for five.
Needing 29 off the last two overs, Delhi started losing the plot as both pacers Mohit Sharma and Sandeep gave no room for Chris Morris and Rishabh Pant to score.
Earlier, Kings XI posted a highly-competitive total of 181 for five in 20 overs.
Opening the batting along with Murali Vijay (25), Stoinis scored 52 runs off 44 deliveries with three hits to the fence and a couple of sixes. The other major contributor was Saha, who also scored 53 but just from 33 deliveries, with seven fours.
Vijay also went after the Delhi bowlers, scoring a 16-ball 25 with four boundaries before Brathwaite pulled off an excellent bit of fielding at midwicket off Morris’ bowling to send him back.
Debutant Hashim Amla (1) was run out following a mix-up with Stoinis to leave Punjab at 48/2 in seven overs.
The 26-year-old Stoinis however posted a 58-run partnership along with Saha to help lay the foundation for a competitive total, before he was holed out by Samson at long-on off Zaheer’s bowling in the 14th over.
But Saha kept on his onslaught, collecting two fours off Amit Mishra in the 15th over and three concecutive ones off Zaheer in the next.
Maxwell (16) departed in 18th over and in the very first of the next, Saha joined him, but not before their partnership added 46 runs in 3.1 overs.
Miller (11) and Patel (16) helped Punjab finish on a strong note.
South African medium pacer Morris reported 2/30, while Zaheer and Mohammad Shami bagged a wicket each.
Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab: 181/5 (Marcus Stoinis 52, Wriddhiman Saha 52; Chris Morris 2/30) beat Delhi Daredevils 172 for 5 (Quinton de Kock 52, Sanju Samson 49, Marcus Stoinis 3/40) by 9 runs.