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    Last-gasp Punjab pip Deccan in nailbiter

    Mohali: David Hussey's heroics helped Kings XI Punjab register a thrilling four-wicket victory over Deccan Chargers in the 61st match of the Indian Premier League at Mohali in a last-ball finish on Sunday. With this win, Punjab are placed seventh in the points table with 14 points from 13 matches and have kept their playoff hopes alive.

    Chasing a big target of 191, Punjab were off to a disastrous start as they lost three top-order batsmen inside eight overs. Pacer Dan Christian struck twice in two overs to dismiss Shaun Marsh and Nitin Saini and reduced Punjab to 26 for 2 in 4.4 overs. Manpreet Gony then got the better of in-form Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh (28) in the eighth over to reduce the hosts to 56 for 3 in 7.2 overs.

    David Hussey and Azhar Mahmood consolidated the innings but spinner Amit Mishra dismissed Mahmood in the 13th over. Then pacer Dale Steyn struck twice in the 17th over to reduce the hosts to 149 for 6 in 16.4 overs. But David Hussey (65 not out) and Gurkeerat Singh (29 not out) put on a solid stand to pull off a dramatic win on the last ball to keep Punjab in content_cnion for the playoffs.

    Earlier, the Deccan Chargers batsmen gave their team a good chance as they posted a big total of 190. Shikhar Dhawan struck 71 before Cameron White notched up 67 not out as the duo hammered Punjab bowlers all around the park. Opting to bat, Dhawan put on 47 in an aggressive opening stand with Parthiv Patel, but the latter's dismissal allowed Punjab to reclaim control as the home side quickly got rid of skipper Sangakkara.

    Dhawan, at the other end, went about compiling a blazing half century as he smashed three sixes and four fours off just 50 balls. He then received handy support from Cameron White as the pair put on a 96-run partnership in 10 overs to put Kings XI Punjab on the back foot. Punjab had a chance to hold things back when White mistimed Chawla on the first ball of the 15th over, but Harris dropped a sitter at wide long-off. The batsman was on 34 then.

    Dhawan was finally pouched by Parwinder Awana off the bowling of Praveen Kumar. That brought Daniel Christian to the crease, and he provided the perfect late boost to the Deccan total as he smashed two quick sixes to score 24 from just 10 balls. Awana conceded 20 runs in the innings' penultimate over, with Christian hitting him for two sixes.