Adam Gilchrist continued his reincarnation in IPL 2013, playing another blazing little innings to propel Kings XI Punjab to a seven-run victory over the Delhi Daredevils in this season's first match at Dharamsala.
Gilchrist led from the front, making a quickfire 42, with David Miller and Shaun Marsh also pitching in with 40s, as Kings XI posted a good total of 171 for four.
In reply, the Delhi Daredevils were not able to build any kind of real partnership, with some last-minute hitting proving to be too little too late as they finished their innings on 164 for seven.
Kings XI remain in the chase for a playoff spot with their seventh win in 15 games, albeit with their future out of their hands.
If RCB win their last game, or if the Sunrisers pick up a victory in one of their final two games, Kings XI, like defending champions KKR, will be out of the running for a top-four spot; but for now, they remain very much in the reckoning.
Delhi Daredevils suffered their 12th defeat in 15 games and are now in serious danger of finishing last in this year's IPL.
Mahela Jayawardene came out to open the innings, but not with Virender Sehwag as expected, as Unmukt Chand was given another chance to impress at the top.
However, Chand (7) disappointed, falling to Praveen Kumar in just the third over with the Kings XI fast bowler finding a way through bat and pad to disturb the timber.
Irfan Pathan was sent in to pinch-hit at No. 3, but the ploy failed miserably with the Daredevils all-rounder failing to deal with the moving ball and edging one to Gilchrist off Sandeep Sharma.
David Warner, who really should have opened the innings if Virender Sehwag was going to be pushed to the middle order, fell for a golden duck with the left-hander catching an outside edge to Shaun Marsh at slips as Sandeep Sharma celebrated his second wicket in two balls.
Sehwag finally came in at No.5, and for a while threatened to pull out one of his vintages out of the cellar, but it proved to be a false dawn with the right-hander caught behind off Parwinder Awana for a quickfire yet hardly helpful 22-ball 30 (6x4).
Jayawardene, who struggled visibly in the first ten overs, then came together with Ben Rohrer to put in a nice little partnership of 50 from 5.3 overs, but with the Daredevils needing nearly 15 runs an over, Jayawardene (39, 42b, 3x4, 1x6) holed out to Manan Vohra off Sandeep Sharma (three for 23) to put the Daredevils in further trouble.
The Daredevils needed an unlikely 50 from the last three overs, and the away side gave it a real go with Rohrer (49, 29b, 4x4, 3x6), in particular impressing. However, it just proved to be too steep a target to chase down as the Kings XI bowlers closed out the game to keep their side in the tournament.
Earlier, Kings XI played a nice innings to push themselves to 171 for four. Adam Gilchrist picked up from where he had left off in the previous game, playing yet another crucial knock to help his side to the formidable total.
They say form is temporary and class is permanent; well Gilchrist really took a while to find that form, even if his class was never in doubt - after all he is without doubt the greatest ever wicketkeeper-batsman to play the game.
If Kings XI can sneak into that playoff spot, they will have an Adam Gilchrist who has peaked at just the right time, which, on any given day, can cause damage to any team - yes even the Chennai Super Kings!
Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh allied for 60 runs in 7.3 overs for the first wicket, with the former doing the bulk of the scoring, making 42 of those in just 26 deliveries.
The highlight of Gilchrist's knock was a wonderful straight six off Ashish Nehra, in an over where he also smashed another maximum and a boundary.
Irfan Pathan was the bowler to get the Kings XI skipper out, with Gilchrist (42, 26b, 5x4, 2x6) top-edging a delivery, which kissed the stars before being caught by the bowler himself.
Marsh played a patient little innings, scoring an almost run-a-ball 45 (44b, 7x4), anchoring the winnings really well until the 17th over, where he holed out to Pathan off Morne Morkel.
Azhar Mahmood had got out four overs after Gilchrist's wicket - caught by Siddarth Kaull off Nehra - which left the Kings XI on 86 for two, before Marsh and the excellent David Miller (44, 24b, 3x4, 4x6) combined for a 34-run partnership.
Rajagopal Satish (21, 9b, 2x4, 1x6) joined Miller in the middle after Marsh's dismissal, and the duo put together a brilliant partnership of 47 runs from just 3.3 overs as the Kings XI scored 68 runs in the final five overs to take the score beyond the 170-run mark.