Kings XI Punjab’s stand-in skipper, David Hussey, is convinced that despite being third from the bottom on the Indian Premier League 5 points table, his team can still qualify for the playoffs of the tournament.
“We got three big games, you never know, we could sneak into the finals,” he said.
The race for a spot in the playoffs has gotten tighter as the tournament progresses – while the top two (Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders) and bottom two (Deccan Chargers and Pune Warriors) spots are all but secured, the five teams in the middle are currently going head to head for a place in the playoffs.
The Kings XI recently fought their way back into contention with a narrow last-ball victory over the Deccan Chargers on May 13 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, Chandigarh.
The Chargers posted a daunting total of 190, but the host team’s batsmen were equal to the challenge. Azhar Mahmood (31) and David Hussey (65) contributed a combined total of 44 runs, and the skipper’s unbeaten knock won him the Player of the Match award, in addition to enabling his team to secure a 4-wicket victory over their opponents.
The game reached a crucial point after the dismissal of Mahmood, after which the asking rate climbed up above 13. However, a quick 29 off 12 in the last few overs, courtesy the young Gurkeet Singh (including a four off the very last delivery of the match), allowed the Kings XI to reach 194 by the end of 20 overs.
“He (Gurkeerat) is a real player for the future for us, he made it look real easy. We showed our fighting qualities today,” Hussey said, lauding the youngster’s valiant knock.
The Kings XI are currently at number 7 on the points table, having won 7 of the 13 matches they have played so far, and have 3 more matches to go before the tournament progresses into the playoffs stage, which means Hussey’s side still have a chance of qualifying. Their next match is scheduled to take place against the Delhi Daredevils on May 15 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.