Punjab go north, Deccan stay bottom of table

At that point, the half way stage of the chase, the numbers in the equation were whole and ripe. Replying to Kings XI Punjab's 170, the Deccan Chargers had scored 70 in 10, and needed 10 runs an over henceforth to stay in the contest. In this format, that wasn't too stiff an ask.

In the centre of Uppal's universe were Cameron White and Daniel Harris (the men responsible for Deccan's only two victories this season), having already added a round 40 runs between them. At that point, the target wasn't really out of Deccan's grasp.

Then, Punjab's stand-in skipper David Hussey introduced himself into the attack. Little did he or the Deccan batsmen know that in the space of the next few balls, Hussey was going to push the game far, far away from the hosts' reach.

With his very first ball in the 11th over, Hussey induced an chunky edge off Harris's blade, which flew right down backward point's throat. 70/3. Just as Hussey and his team mates celebrated the crucial dismissal, KXIP captain Kumar Sangakkara joined White in the middle. The celebrations stopped suddenly, as Hussey perhaps realised that this was the last recognised batting partnership. A wicket here, and it would be all but over for DC.

Two balls later, he struck, and struck with the wicket of the big one — White. The Australian misread the flight on the ball, and only managed to deposit the stroke safely into deep midwicket's palms. 71/4. If those two strikes had put the brakes on the Chargers' charge, then the wicket of Sangakkara (caught behind off Praveen Kumar) early in the following over reduced their innings to 74/5, all but ending Deccan's game.

Deccan ended up nearly doubling their score from there on — 145/8 in 20 overs — but yet they fell well short of the target, mainly due to the runs that Punjab opener Mandeep Singh had scored in the first innings. Mandeep's 75 was the highest individual score by a Punjab player this season, scored by their highest run-getter (359 runs) in IPL IV. Although no other player got into the 30s in the innings, Mandeep's contribution was enough to slap a 25-run defeat on DC, and take KXIP into the top-four reckoning. (ENS)

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