Leg spinner Amit Mishra recorded the first hat-trick of the season as Deccan Chargers crushed Kings XI Punjab by 82 runs to dash their hopes of making the Indian Premier League play-offs here today.
Chasing 199 to win, Punjab only managed to score 116 all out in 19 overs at the pictersque HPCA stadium with captain Adam Gilchrist being the top scorer with 51.
Brought back into the attack in the 16th over, Mishra removed Ryan McLaren, Mandeep Singh and Ryan Harris off successive deliveries to record his second hat-trick in the history of the Twenty20 tournament.
Mishra has now joined Yuvraj Singh as the only player in the IPL to have recorded two hat-tricks.
Apart from these two players, Kolkata Knight Riders' Lakshmipathy Balaji, Chennai Super Kings' Makhaya Ntini and Mumbai Indians' Rohit Sharma had achieved the feat in the previous editions of the event.
After the Deccans rode on Shikhar Dhawan's unbeaten 95 and Ravi Teja's 60 to post an imposing 198 for two, Mishra took the centrestage to return with superb figures of 4-1-9-4 and spin his team to victory.
Punjab's defeat means that Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight riders now confirm berths in the play-offs.
Mishra bowled a googly to McLaren, who tried to clear the fence but in the end only found Daniel Christian latching on to the ball at deep midwicket to complete a good low catch.
Mandeep Singh was stumped by Kedar Devdhar in his bid to accelerate the scoring.
Harris was caught by Shikhar Dhawan at second slip, as the googly by Mishra bounced extra from outside off and took the Punjab batsman by surprise who tried to cut the ball towards point.
Chasing a daunting target, Punjab skipper Gilchrist cashed in on a dropped chance to notch up his second fifty this IPL season. His aggressive 37-ball knock consisted of two sixes and six fours.
In a surprise move by skipper Cameron White, South African recruit Jean-Paul Duminy opened the bowling for Deccan in their last game of the season 4.
Duminy bowled a tight over barring a last-ball boundary scored by Gilchrist.
Valthaty (5), one of the finds of this IPL season and Punjab's leading run-scorer behind Australian Shaun Marsh, failed to fire in the crunch game and was dismissed by pacer Dale Steyn in his first over.
Steyn hurled a fuller delivery on the middle stump line which landed around leg and middle and curved towards middle. Valthaty, in his bid to clear the ball, gave a simple catch to Anand Rajan at mid-on.