Ninth straight loss for dismal Delhi
Kings XI Punjab 119 for 3 (Miller 47*, Vohra 47) beat Delhi Daredevils 115 (Pietersen 58, Awana 2-15) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Kings XI Punjab warmed up for the playoffs with a demolition of Delhi Daredevils, whose batting failure sent them crashing to a ninth successive defeat. Kevin Pietersen made his only fifty of the season, but he had next to no support as Daredevils were dismissed for 115 with nearly two overs remaining in their innings. Glenn Maxwell got his first duck of the tournament in the chase, but for a side that had made 190-plus six times this season, this target was easy meat. They took 13.5 overs to register their 11th win in 14 games.
It was the bowling that Kings XI would have wanted to fire ahead of the qualifier against Kolkata Knight Riders. The attack did not disappoint George Bailey, and all his five bowlers chipped in with wickets. Daredevils did have a promising partnership, between Pietersen and Dinesh Karthik, and the duo took them to 44 for 1 in the sixth over with a flurry of boundaries.
The promise was cut short by Parvinder Awana, whose double-wicket maiden stalled Daredevils' progress. Karthik tried to turn one from off to leg, and the leading edge was snapped up at point. Kedar Jadhav tried to prevent the maiden with a charge down the pitch, but failed to clear mid-off.
Pietersen kept soldiering on at the other end. He struggled to find his timing initially, but soon did, and started piercing the off-side infield frequently. Twice in an over, he opened the face to pick the gap with cover drives against Mitchell Johnson's pace.
Speaking to the on-air commentators from the dugout after his dismissal, Karthik said it was a good batting pitch, but the rest of the Daredevils batsmen kept coming and going. Manoj Tiwary was run out after a mix-up with his captain, and JP Duminy mishit a slog-sweep off the legspinner Karanveer Singh.
Pietersen was the sixth man to fall for 58 off 41, to a marginal leg-before decision off Rishi Dhawan, with the ball arguably going down the leg side.
The seventh wicket summed it up for Daredevils. Karanveer bowled a wide half-tracker, and Jimmy Neesham sliced a cut to backward point. The tail fell apart in no time to the left-arm spinner Akshar Patel.
Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat worked up some pace and bounce, and reduced Kings XI to 16 for 2, the second wicket falling when Maxwell mishit a slog to Pietersen at mid-off. That was to be it for Daredevils as Manan Vohra and David Miller added 96 in ten overs to finish the match.
Vohra impressed with his uninhibited hitting again on his way to 47 off 38, and Miller went slightly quicker to end on an unbeaten 47 off 34. The match was played in overcast and very windy conditions, and the drizzle became heavier just as Vohra fell four runs short of victory. Daredevils' hopes had been washed away long before that.
Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo