Delhi's win eliminates Punjab, Mumbai get a lifeline
Delhi overhauled the 142-run target with 10 balls to spare and ensured that they end the league engagements on top of the table with 22 points, which means that they will have two chances to make it to the title clash.
Punjab needed to win Saturday's contest to stay in play-off contention but putting up just 141 for eight did not help their cause.
Delhi's win has also ensured Mumbai's entry into the knockout stage as even if Mumbai lose Sunday's match against Rajasthan Royals they will still end with 18 points, which is enough to get fourth position in the table.
Delhi's win has also kept CSK in the hunt. If Bangalore lose on Sunday, they will be tied on 17 points with Chennai and the defending champions will sneak into the next stage due to better Net Run-Rate.
It was Delhi's pacers, who set up the win as Umesh Yadav (3/19) ripped apart the Punjab top-order and Morkel (4/20) rocked the middle and lower order.
Punjab owed their total to Siddhath Chitnis (38), Azhar Mahmood (36) and Gurkeerat Singh (26), who lifted the side to a fighting score from a precarious 20 for four at one stage.
Delhi openers Warner and Unmukt Chand (18) came out all guns blazing and put on a 82-run stand in nine overs to set the tone for easy win.
Warner's blistering 44-ball knock was studded with 10 fours and four sixes while youngster Chand supported him well with his 24-ball knock, containing two sixes.
Warner was quite harsh on Parvinder Awana, whom he hit for three sixes and four in the seventh over. The Australian was dropped in the last ball of that over when he was on 46.
Mahmood dismissed Chand and later Ryan Harris (2/19) accounted for Warner and Irfan Pathan (5) but Y Venugopal Rao (21) batted sensibly to guide the side to finish line.
When the Punjab side batted, the wicket at the HPCA stadium helped the pacers as the bowl swung and bounced a lot but it eased out when Warner and co. took guard.
Earlier, electing to field, Delhi bowlers stuck to their task from the onset, barring a few overs in the middle, to stop Punjab from posting a big total at the HPCA stadium.
Punjab were off to a worst possible start in their must-win last league fixture as they slumped to 20 for four inside the mandatory power-play. The hosts were never allowed to get off the hook by the Delhi bowlers.
Punjab lost opener Mandeep Singh (0) in the second over of the match to Umesh, who induced an edge that was taken by wicketkeeper Naman Ojha.
Skipper Adam Gilchrist (9) departed in the fourth over bowled by Umesh when he went for the pull but only ending up getting a top-edge that was lapped up by Varun Aaron at mid-on.
Paul Valthaty's miserable run in the tournament continued as he was caught by Irfan Pathan at third-man off Morkel while trying an upper cut.
Umesh made the matter worse for the hosts as he got the dangerman David Hussey (3) caught at mid-on by Pathan to leave Punjab tottering at 20 for four.
With his team struggling, Chitnis strode to the crease and responded to the situation by running a few quick singles and hitting the occasional boundaries.
Chitnis, along with Mahmood, tried to take Kings XI to a comfortable position but the Maharashtra player holed out to fine-leg fielder Pathan off the bowling of Andre Russell after being involved in a 57-run stand.
Chitnis' 32-ball knock was laced with one six and five fours. After his dismissal of Chitnis, Mahmood and Gurkeerat tried to provide the late flourish, but the Delhi bowlers were equal to the task.
Ryan Harris accumulated 15 runs off the last over bowled by Umesh to take his team past 140.
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Date 27-03-14, Duration 1:52, Views 271