Kings XI keep playoff chances alive

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The Kings XI are still in with a shout of making this year's IPL playoffs after beating Chennai by six wickets at Dharamsala on Thursday.

The Kings XI are still in with a shout of making this year's IPL playoffs after beating Chennai by six wickets at Dharamsala on Thursday.

The hosts started their penultimate group match knowing that they had to win the final two games to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages and captain Adam Gilchrist led from the front as his side chased down the Super Kings' 120 for seven.

Gilchrist gave the team's batting line-up a massive boost after a month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury as he smashed an unbeaten 64 from 46 balls.

The Australian and fellow Mandeep Singh followed up the good work from the bowlers with a solid half-century stand before the latter was bowled by Albie Morkel for 24.

Although Nitin Saini, David Hussey and Siddharth Chitnis departed for low scores with Dwayne Bravo claiming two of those wickets, the Kings XI were never under pressure with Gilchrist hitting nine fours and two sixes at the other end.

The victory sees the Punjab outfit move onto 16 points, one less than the Super Kings who occupy the fourth and final play-off spot.

Chennai's hopes of making it a hat-trick of titles are hanging by a thread following a poor batting display.

The Kings XI bowlers vindicated Gilchrist's decision to bowl first as they made the most of the seaming Himachal Pradesh track.

Praveen Kumar did the damage upfront as he removed openers Murali Vijay and Mike Hussey.

Skipper Gilchrist made it three catches behind the stumps as he also caught Suresh Raina off Azhar Mahmood's bowling while Parvinder Awana's double strike left the Super Kings struggling on 78 for five after 15.3 overs.

However, Dwayne Bravo's lower-order blitz pushed Chennai past the 100-run mark and gave their bowlers at least something to defend. The West Indies all-rounder hit three fours and two sixes in his knock of 48 from 43 balls.

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