Deccan Chargers [ Images ] beat Kings XI Punjab [ Images ] by five wickets in their Indian Premier League [ Images ] match at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Friday to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last four.
It was their fourth straight win in the competition.
Chasing a formidable 175 to win, the visitors scored 178 for five and won with five balls to spare, to move up to fourth in the table.
Deccan Chargers secured what was seventh win in 13 matches and took their points tally to 14.
It was the defending champions' second ever win over the team from Punjab - in six matches -- the first having come last month at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack.
As regards Kings XI, it was their ninth defeat in 13 matches - but only their second in the last five - in what has been a palpably disappointing campaign. They remain on eight points.
Rohit Sharma [ Images ] anchored the Chargers' chase with a spectacular 38-ball 68, a knock that was inclusive of six hits to the fence and three over it.
The Deccan Chargers' chase began in sedate fashion.
In came T Suman (43) and the youngster exuded confidence early on, smashing Theron for a maximum over midwicket and following it up with a boundary towards third man.
However, the Deccan Chargers' total in the Power Play period - 45 - was short of their avaerage total during that period (46).
Opener Monish Mishra (20), however, was trapped leg before by VS Malik.
Rohit Sharma got off with a crackling boundary. He and Suman added 66 runs for the third wicket to lay the foundation of the Deccan innings.
Piyush Chawla [ Images ] eventually had Suman caught behind, the latter's 31-ball knock comprising three hits to the fence and three over it.
Andrew Symonds [ Images ] (4) fell in the next over, cleaned up by Theron.
Going into the second strategic timeout - taken after 15 overs - the visitors had made 131 for four, needing a further 44 runs off the final five overs.
Rohit completed a well-deserved fifty with a single to deep square leg off Theron.
Mitchell Marsh (15) smashed Yuvraj over the long-on fence for a maximum but the latter had his revenge three ball later, having the young Aussie caught by Jayawardene in the same area.
The penultimate over by Irfan cost Punjab a whopping 19 runs, something they could ill-afford at that time. Sharma hit a boundary and a six (over long-on) off the last two balls to help his team level the scores.
And when B Sumanth (6 not out) hit VS Malik through the covers for a boundary it was all over.
Earlier, a resolute 93 not out by Mahela Jayawardene [ Images ] helped Kings XI Punjab to a formidable total.
The home team put up 174 for two in their stipulated 20 overs.
From 98 for two at the end of the 15th over, Kings XI got to their eventual target to reestablish Deccan Chargers' tag as the worst bowling side in the final five overs -- 76 came off the last five in this innings.
Jayawardene's 62-ball knock was inclusive of 13 hits to the fence and two over it.
The Sri Lankan, dropped on 21 by Rahul Sharma (off Pragyan Ojha [ Images ]), made Deccan Chargers pay heavily for the blemish en route to a score that was a perfect follow-up to his spectacular century against Kolkata [ Images ] Knight Rider earlier in the tournament.
Yuvraj Singh [ Images ], for once forced to play second fiddle, made 20.
The duo put together a stand of 86 runs - off just 51 balls - for the third wicket to give the Punjab total the fillip it desperately needed.
RP Singh [ Images ] went for 51 off his four overs.
Ryan Harris ensured a perfect start for the defending champions when he induced a faint edge of Shaun Marsh's [ Images ] (0) blade - in the fifth ball of the innings - and Adam Gilchrist made no mistake behind the stumps.
Kumar Sangakkara [ Images ] hit a splendid square drive off RP Singh to ease the pressure a bit. The captain went over the infield over cover for a second boundary in the next over. He added a couple more in the fourth over, bowled by Mitchell Marsh; the first, square on the off side and the second, an exquisite drive past extra cover.
Mahela Jayawardene took nine balls to get off the mark but his first scoring shot was a boundary off RP over mid-on. Five balls later, the Sri Lankan repeated the feat, on this occasion a splendid shot through extra cover.
Both the batsmen helped them to a boundary apiece in the sixth over (by Marsh) as the home team reached a comfortable 43 for one even as the field restrictions eased.
The first strategic timeout was taken after the eighth over and Pragyan Ojha was given the ball immediately.
Ojha would have struck with his fourth ball had Rahul Sharma not put down Jayawardene at short fine.
Sangakkar smashed a six off Symonds and successive boundaries in Ojha's second over to bring up his half century.
But the captain fell shortly after, failing to get hold of a reverse sweep off Rahul Sharma, Ojha picking up the catch at short fine.
The second wicket partnership between the two Lankan batsmen yielded Deccan 86 runs in 63 balls.
Yuvraj Singh took seven balls to get off the mark as Deccan's bowlers called the shots in the next three overs, ensuring the opposition run rate dropped to about six-and-a-half from eight - from 86 at the end of the 11th over, the score moved at a snail's pace to 98 at the end of the 15th.
However, Jayawardene broke the shackles in the 16th over, first coming down the track and smashing Rahul straight for a six and following it up with a boundary at sweeper cover.
And the Sri Lankan came back from the second strategic time out refreshed and hit RP for five successive boundaries, the first of them (over extra cover) helping him reach his second IPL fifty.
Yuvraj joined the party. First, with a boundary off Marsh followed by a six off Harris in the penultimate over - an over that cost Deccan 18 runs.
Earlier, Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist won the toss and opted to field first.
Both the skippers were however not certain as regards the wicket.
The Himachal Pradesh [ Images ] Cricket Association stadium, hosting its first match, became the 14th venue in the IPL calendar.
Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist (captain), Mohnish Mishra, Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma, T Suman, B Sumanth, Mitchell Marsh, Rahul Sharma, Ryan Harris, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha.
Kings XI Punjab: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Shaun Marsh, Mahela Jayawardene, Yuvraj Singh, Karan Goel [ Images ], Irfan Pathan, R Sodhi, Piyush Chawla, VS Malik, Shalabh Srivastava, Juan Theron.