New Delhi, May 15: Mahela Jayawardene(56 not out) and Naman Ojha (34) led Delhi Daredevils to a five-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab and qualify for the IPL 5 play-offs here in game 64 played at the Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi.
Delhi fought their way back after struggling to cope up with Punjab's pace attack early on. Jayawardene scored an unbeaten fifty along with a steady innings from Ojha(29-ball 34) to guide their team home with an over to spare.
Punjab's pace sensation Parwinder Awana gave the early breakthrough as Delhi's top-order tumbled down. Jayawardene controlled the flow of runs in the middle overs. The Sri Lankan skipper smashed eight fours in his innings adding a crucial 58-run fifth wicket stand along with Ojha.
Punjab leg-spinner Piyush Chawla gave the much-needed break claiming Ojha's wicket. Ojha hit three fours and two sixes. But Irfan Pathan sealed it after hitting three boundaries in the 18th over adding an unbeaten 45-run stand with Jayawardene. The veteran batsman finished it off in style smashing three consecutive fours in the 19th over of Azhar Mahmood.
Pacers from both teams ruled the match as Awana rattled the top-order leaving Delhi struggling at 37/4. To begin with, Praveen Kumar dismissed David Warner(14) in the third over, but Delhi were shocked when Awana bowled out skipper Sehwag(8).
After two quick dismissals, Punjab were in for a chance to seal an unbelievable victory when Awana claimed two wickets in the sixth over. Venugopal Rao(7) and Ross Taylor(0) were caught behind by wicketkeeper Nitin Saini in the space of three balls.
Delhi are the first team to qualify for the play-offs with 20 points. Despite the loss, Punjab still fancy a chance to make it to the last-four with a bit of luck.
Kings XI Punjab innings report
Punjab stand-in skipper David Hussey led their side with an unbeaten 35-ball 40 runs to set-up a decent target of 136/8. Daredevils pacers Aaron and Yadav did most of the damage claiming five wickets between them.
Despite a quick start, Kings XI Punjab struggled to maintain their momentum and build a steady partnership. Australia'a Shaun Marsh departed early for 13 runs off Aaron. Yong batting talent Mandeep Singh (21) looked in good touch smashing five fours but was sent back courtesy of Virender Sehwag's brilliant catch.
Hussey stood firm throughout the innings, but the fall of wickets made it difficult for Punjab. Two major blows came when David Miller (4) was run-out and Azhar Mahmood (9) was caught on the edge of the boundary line by Irfan Pathan.
Gurkeerat Singh (8), who won it for Punjab against Kolkata, tried to continue his magic with two consecutive fours but was stumped while trying to go for a big hit. Piyush Chawla(10) and Hussey added the highest 29-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Pacers did the job for Delhi, restricting their opponents to a modest total. Aaron claimed two for 19 in his four-over spell while Yadav registered 21/3 in four overs. Morne Morkel remained wicket-less for 32 runs.
Kings XI Punjab skipper David Hussey won the toss and opted to bat first against Delhi Daredevils in game 64 of IPL 5
Both teams have made two changes each. Kings XI included David Miller for Ryan Harris while Harmeet Singh comes in for Siddarth Chitnis.
Daredevils have dropped Roelof van der Merwe bringing in Ross Taylor and Pawan Negi comes in for Yogesh Nagar.
Delhi Daredevils, having secured 18 points off 13 games would qualify for the play-offs, the onus is on Hussey's men as they have registered a couple of wins off close matches off late and have secured 14 points off 13 games.
Seventh placed Punjab look to take advantage of Kevin Pietersen-less Daredevils to stay afloat in the tournament.
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), David Warner, Mahela Jayawardene, K. Venugopala Rao, Irfan Pathan, Morne Morkel, Ross Taylor, Naman Ojha (wicketkeeper), Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Pawan Negi.
Kings XI Punjab: David Hussey (captain), Gurkeerat Singh, Piyush Chawla, Parvinder Awana, Azhar Mahmood, David Miller, Nitin Saini (wicketkeeper), Harmeet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Praveen Kumar, Shaun Marsh.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
Third umpire: SS Shamsuddin (India)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)