With nine games gone, Kings XI Punjab needed to win all their remaining five matches to qualify for the playoffs. This looked almost an impossible task considering that two of their opponents were Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers from Bangalore. But four of those five games later, Punjab are still in within playoff contention winning all of their games and picking up their biggest victories against Mumbai and the Royal Challengers. If the bowlers dismissed Mumbai for 87, then it was the batsmen’s night out at Dharmasala against the Royal Challengers. Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh led the assault as Kings XI put up an improbable target of 233 for the Challengers with the skipper making 106 of those before the bowlers came and dismissed the opponents cheaply giving the Kings a massive 111 run victory.
After Paul Valthaty started things in quick fashion for the Kings, Gilchrist joined his Australian mate Marsh as they put on the highest ever partnership in T20 cricket scoring 206 of 96 balls. Gilchrist smashed eight boundaries and nine sixes in his 106 including a monstrous 122 metre hit over midwicket. Marsh continued his dream run in the tournament scoring 79 of 49 balls which included seven hits to the fence and five over it. Neither spin nor pace could stop the duo as Langeveldt went for 48 runs in his four overs while Van Der Wath conceded 50.
Gilchrist was not done for the day yet as he flew to his left to pluck a blinder to dismiss the dangerous Gayle for a seven ball duck. The dismissal threw the Challengers off track and they never recovered once Kohli was dismissed in the fourth over. Harris was responsible for picking up both wickets while Chawla troubled the lower order batsmen with his googlies picking up four wickets himself as the Challengers crumbled to 121 all out.
The win moved Kings XI Punjab level on points with the Kolkata Knight Riders on 14 points. While Kings XI have only more game up their sleeve, the Knight Riders are to face Pune and Mumbai before the final spot for the playoff is decided.