Kings XI reach IPL play-offs

Kings XI Punjab sealed their place in the Indian Premier League play-offs and heaped more misery on Kevin Pietersen’s Delhi Daredevils with a nervy four-wicket win.

The clash between the top and bottom sides in the standings went to form, but only just, as league leaders Kings XI chased down their 165-run target with two balls to spare.

With nine required from Wayne Parnell’s final over, Rishi Dhawan scampered two twos and then pulled to the boundary to silence the home fans in Delhi and send Kings XI two points clear of Chennai Super Kings at the top.

The defeat will be tough for Pietersen to take after he had earlier returned to form with an innings of 49 before succumbing to left-arm spin.

Dinesh Karthik (69) top-scored for Delhi and at halfway the DD’s would have fancied their chances of claiming just a third win from what has been a disappointing campaign thus far.

Those hopes increased when Imran Tahir removed Manan Vohra and dangerman Glenn Maxwell, however Akshar Patel continued to blaze away to keep Kings XI in contention.

George Bailey’s dismissal in the penultimate over sent nerves jangling in the away dug-out, but Patel finished unbeaten on 42 and Dhawan kept his composure when it mattered most.