Punjab push on, Deccan decline continues

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The Deccan Chargers' 2012 Indian Premier League campaign went from bad to worse, while the Kings XI Punjab remained in the hunt for a semi-final berth at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The Deccan Chargers' 2012 Indian Premier League campaign went from bad to worse, while the Kings XI Punjab remained in the hunt for a semi-final berth at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The final result reflected a 25-run for the Punjab franchise, and largely flattered a Deccan outfit outgunned at almost every turn.

The Kings XI's total of 170 for five was built on the back of Mandeep Singh and Shaun Marsh's solid foundation at the top of the knock. The openers put on 55 inside the first seven overs. There was no looking back.

While Marsh ultimately perished for 22 to the part-time trundle of Shikhar Dhawan, Singh cashed in to the tune of 75 off just 48 balls, eight fours and three hefty sixes included.

Alongside the Rajasthan Royals' Ajinkya Rahane, Man of the Match Mandeep has risen above plenty of other homegrown challengers this year.

Tuesday brought him decent support from overseas signings David Hussey, Azhar Mahmood and David Miller, who did enough between them to have Deccan's strike bowlers, namely Veer Pratap Singh and Amit Mishra fetch a string of expensive overs.

The Chargers' enjoyed a fluid 30 from Daniel Harris at the start of their chase, but afforded very little support, the Australian's cameo ultimately proved in vain. The fall of Dhawan, Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White – all in single figures – was particularly telling on the final outcome.

Hussey, who would have wanted more with the bat than just the 16 he managed, made up for his earlier inadequacy with two wickets. The spinner struck twice in one over, removing countrymen Harris and White.

Deccan were never able to recover from the loss of three overseas batsmen across eight deliveries.

Akshath Reddy, for his 24, and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, 19 runs and a run-out later, did their best to stave off the inevitable – and at least upped Deccan's net run-rate, which might come into play when deciding the tournament's bottom ranks later this month.

Tuesday's triumph took the Kings XI Punjab to fifth in the nine-team standings on 12 points, while the Deccan Chargers stay stone last on five points.

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