DHARAMSALA: Kings XI Punjab kept themselves in contention for a place in the playoffs with a comfortable victory set up by their seamers against Chennai Super Kings here on Thursday.
Kings XIís decision to go in with a four-pronged pace attack paid off and despite a Super Kings fightback led by Dwayne Bravo, a target of 121 proved easy to scale down.
Gilchrist, after winning the toss, had no doubts about putting Super Kings in and Praveen went about justifying that decision, dismissing M Vijay in the third and Michael Hussey in the fifth over.
Suresh Raina, dropped on 2 at slip by Piyush Chawla, struck two sixes off Azhar Mahmood. But he chased a wide one that same over, and was snapped up by Gilchrist.
Super Kings were in trouble when a nippy Parvinder Awana dismissed MS Dhoni to make it 46 for 4, but Bravo fought back.
Bravo waited for an opening, provided by the spin of Piyush Chawla, dispatching a long hop over midwicket and creaming him through point. He then went after David Hussey, smashing his offspinners for consecutive sixes towards cow corner.
Though Awana continued to be miserly, going for just 12 in his four-over spell and picking up two wickets, Mahmood faced an assault at the death. Albie Morkel hammered him for a six and a four, and Bravo was able to put together stands of 32 and 34 with Ravindra Jadeja and Morkel. His 48 gave Super Kings something to defend but Gilchrist ensured the advantage remained with Kings XI.
They approached the chase positively and an early burst prevented Super Kings from applying any serious pressure. Mandeep Singh slashed Hilfenhaus for a couple of boundaries in the first over and Gilchrist drove Morkel powerfully twice in the second. When R Ashwin was brought on in the sixth, he was pulled and swept by Gilchrist for two fours.
Mandeep fell after a half-century stand, and Nitin Saini and David Hussey lost their wickets playing avoidable shots but Kings XI were always on track while Gilchrist stayed. He slashed Bravo over point, and then tore into Yo Mahesh, whose generous dose of short balls and length deliveries were promptly dispatched. He was thrashed for two sixes over square leg and two more fours in an over that fetched 22, and the result from there on was a foregone conclusion.
At Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday evening, Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Mumbai Indians by 32 runs as Sunil Narine ripped apart the formidable batting line of the hosts.
The 23-year-old West Indian took four wickets for just 15 runs to have Mumbai, chasing 141, all out for 108. He was very well supported by Balaji and Kallis who got two wickets each.
KKR had reached their barely-defendable total thanks to 41 by Manoj Tiwary who built small but significant partnerships with Gambhir (27) and Shakib (13).