Gilchrist steers Punjab home
Dharamshala - Adam Gilchrist hit an unbeaten half-century to guide the Kings XI Punjab to a six-wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings on Thursday and remain in contention for the Indian Premier League playoffs.
The Punjab captain, returning to action after recovering from an abdomen injury, compiled an unbeaten 64 in a total of 123-4 in 16.3 overs.
The team's seamers of Praveen Kumar, Parvinder Awana and Azhar Mahmood had earlier taken two wickets each to restrict Chennai to 120-7 on a lively pitch at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
Gilchrist, who also took four catches behind the stumps, struck two sixes and nine fours in 46 deliveries to see his team through with ease.
"It was good to take the field," Gilchrist said. "It was one of those days when the Chennai batsmen nicked all of them, all of them straightforward catches."
Earlier, the Punjab seamers made the most of the opportunity of bowling first on the lively track at this picturesque hill venue.
Kumar and Gilchrist combined to remove both openers, Murali Vijay and Mike.
Mahmood was hit for two consecutive sixes off Suresh Raina before removing the batsman and Albie Morkel, while Awana took the prize wickets of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and all-rounder Ravinder Jadeja.
West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo fought a lone battle, hitting three sixes and two fours off 43 balls before falling to Ryan Harris in the last over of the innings. He struck David Hussey for two consecutive sixes - straight down the ground and over the mid-wicket fence.
Bravo also took two wickets later in the day.
Punjab have eight wins and seven losses with one more match to go against the Delhi Daredevils. Chennai have eight wins, seven losses and one no-result and have no matches left. They will now wait for other results to decide their playoff fate.
Kings XI Punjab 123-4 in 16.3 overs (Adam Gilchrist 64 not out; Dwayne Bravo 2-18) def. Chennai Super Kings 120-7 (Dwayne Bravo 48; Parvinder Awana 2-12, Praveen Kumar 2-18, Azhar Mahmood 2-28).