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Kings XI continue to rule

Chandigarh: Delhi DareDevils’ final IPL outing was as woeful as their opening one, with table-toppers Kings XI Punjab inflicting a seven-wicket defeat on the tournament’s bottom-placed team, here on Sunday.

Batting first, the DareDevils flopped in batting once again and were shot out for 115 in 18.1 overs with Kevin Pietersen’s half-century being the only saving grace.

In reply, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) reached the target with 37 balls to spare. David Miller (47 not out) and Manan Vohra (47) smashed 96 runs in 10 overs to seal the issue.

It turned out to be contrasting campaigns for the two sides. On one hand, DareDevils lost 12 of their 14 matches, including nine in a row. On the other, KXIP won 11 of their 14 encounters to end with 22 points, four clear of second and third placed KKR and CSK respectively.

Virender Sehwag (9) and Glenn Maxwell (0) got out cheaply, but Mannan and Miller smashed the DareDevils bowlers into submission. Manan hit four fours and two sixes in 38 balls while Miller hit as many fours and sixes in the 34 balls he faced.

He lofted Imran Tahir for a six to end the match in style.

Earlier, Kevin Pietersen (58) finally got a half-century. The innings, with nine boundaries, bore the signs of vintage KP. But his teammates again showed that most of them didn’t have the application needed to finish with their heads held high.

In the end, they were all out with as many as 11 balls still to be played. Parvinder Awana, Mitchell Johnson, Akshar Patel and Karanveer Singh got two wickets each.

Save their skipper, none of the DareDevils’s batsmen scored more than 15 runs.

Mayank Agarwal (2) once again played an irresponsible shot, as has been the case with him in this edition, and was caught by Virender Sehwag off Johnson.

With 115 runs from eight games, there will always be questions raised about whether the Bangalore boy deserved a chance in the playing XI after so many failures.