Bangalore, May 22: Kings XI Punjab, semi-finalists of 2008 inaugural edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) have failed for the fourth consecutive time to qualify for the play-offs. This year being no different Adam Gilchrist's XI finished sixth in the points table.
Kings XI Punjab's Results in IPL 5
Gilchrist's side ended with a 50% winning ratio, but it was not sufficient to qualify for the knockout stage. Though they managed to thrash defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their second last game, but in their last encounter the mighty Delhi Daredevils swept them out of IPL 5.
Punjab began their campaign poorly with just two wins in six games but bounced back winning five out seven matches. Kings XI managed to win only two out of six games played at home.
Blame it on lack of big names or inconsistent performance, Punjab were never termed favourites this season. The many Australian players in the side were considered key players but did not make an impact except for stand-in skipper David Hussey.
Another Aussie batsman Shaun Marsh had a decent season but was hit with poor form and not-so-consistent performances. He ended becoming the third highest run-scorer(336) with two fifties at an average of 30.54.
Due to a hamstring injury, skipper Gilchrist was out for nine games this season. Stand-in skipper David Hussey struggled to keep his team afloat but his presence itself made them believe and play in high spirits. Hussey's 396 runs is the second highest for Punjab.
Apart from the flop Aussie stars, local lads Mandeep Singh and Parwinder outshined even the best making them valuable future assets for Punjab. Right-handed opening batsman Mandeep top-scored with 432 runs with two fifties at an average of 27 in 16 games while Pace sensation Awana claimed 17 wickets in 12 games at an average 21.88.
Punjab were rejuvenated with the arrival of Pakistani all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, the only player from Pakistan to feature in IPL after three years. The 36-year-old British national inspired the team with his bowling (14 wickets) but disappointed with the bat.
Punjab's hero last season, Paul Vathaty, failed miserably scoring just 30 runs in six games. England's Dimitri Mascarenhas helped Punjab win their first game with a brilliant five-wicket haul against Pune Warriors but that was his only significant contribution in the entire tournament.
A few matches before their exit, Punjab were hit by spot fixing allegations with pacer Shalab Srivastava accused of being involved along with young all-rounder Amit Yadav.
KXIP's Top 5 batsmen and bowlers in IPL 5:
Mandeep Singh 432 runs (16 innings)
David Hussey 396 runs (15 innings)
Shaun Marsh 336 runs (13 innings)
Azhar Mahmood 186 runs (10 innings)
Adam Gilchrist 172 runs (7 innings)
Parwinder Awana 17 wickets (12 innings)
Piyush Chawla 16 wickets (16 innings)
Azhar Mahmood 11 wickets (11 innings)
Praveen Kumar 9 wickets (16 innings)
Ryan Harris 8 wickets (5 innings)