Kings XI Punjab beat Rajasthan Royals by 16 runs to confirm first place in the 2014 Indian Premier League table and leave the Royals still unsure of their place in the play-offs.
Kings XI now have an unassailable 20 points from their 13 matches, with one game left to play. The Royals, meanwhile, are in the fourth and final play-off spot but remain within two points of Mumbai Indians, who they play in their final match on Sunday.
The Royals won the toss and elected to field in Mohali, capturing the early wicket of Virender Sehwag in the third over—but not before he had battered 18 runs off just eight balls.
A decent Kings XI partnership then followed between Manan Vohra and Shaun Marsh, before Vohra was run out by Stuart Binny in the seventh over.
Marsh would go on to top score with 40 for Punjab, while David Miller and George Bailey saw things home with unbeaten innings of 29 and 26, respectively.
|Virender Sehwag||c Vikramjeet Malik b James Faulkner||18||8||225.00||3||1|
|Manan Vohra||run out (Stuart Binny)||25||20||125.00||3||1|
|Shaun Marsh||c Ajinkya Rahane b Vikramjeet Malik||40||35||114.28||5||1|
|Wriddhiman Saha||c Ajinkya Rahane b Rahul Tewatia||27||20||135.00||4||0|
|David Miller||NOT OUT||29||20||145.00||0||2|
|George Bailey||NOT OUT||26||18||144.44||1||1|
|EXTRAS||(nb 1, w 3, b 3, lb 7)||14||14|
The Royals reply was dented early by the dismissal of Karun Nair in the third over. His fellow opener Ajinkya Rahane lasted until the ninth over, but only mustered 23 runs from 26 balls as the Royals struggled to keep pace.
Shane Watson, coming in at four, went for a golden duck to Rishi Dhawan, and the Kings XI attack ensured the Royals never really achieved the momentum required.
Sanju Samson got to 30, but couldn't go on to make the defining innings that was called for. Brad Hodge was another, losing his wicket for 31.
James Faulkner stood unbeaten on 35 at the end of the 20 overs, but his team were still 16 runs short of the total they needed to ensure a spot in the play-offs.
|Ajinkya Rahane||b Rishi Dhawan||23||26||88.46||2||0|
|Karun Nair||c George Bailey b Lakshmipathy Balaji||11||6||183.33||2||0|
|Sanju Samson||st Wriddhiman Saha b Karanveer Singh||30||29||103.44||2||1|
|Shane Watson||b Rishi Dhawan||0||1||0.00||0||0|
|Stuart Binny||c Shaun Marsh b Karanveer Singh||7||10||70.00||0||0|
|Rahul Tewatia||c Karanveer Singh b Akshar Patel||16||13||123.07||0||1|
|Brad Hodge||st Wriddhiman Saha b Akshar Patel||31||18||172.22||2||2|
|James Faulkner||NOT OUT||35||13||269.23||1||4|
|Kevon Cooper||c Shaun Marsh b Akshar Patel||2||2||100.00||0||0|
|Vikramjeet Malik||NOT OUT||1||2||50.00||0||0|
|EXTRAS||(w 3, lb 4)||7||7|
The star of the Kings XI bowling attack was Akshar Patel, who took 3-24 from his four overs to shackle the Royals' reply.
All now rests on the Royals' clash with Mumbai on Sunday. Kings XI, meanwhile, can afford to take things easy against Delhi Daredevils on Sunday.