Liam Livingstone fought like a hero, with big shots flying off his bat in his majestic 94 off 48. But the Englishman's fireworks failed to lift the Punjab Kings which slumped to a 15-run defeat to the already-eliminated Delhi Capitals in its make-or-break IPL game in Dharamsala on Wednesday.

The defeat was a biter pill to swallow for the Kings who have been now pushed to the brink of elimination by a team that miraculously rediscovered its batting mojo.

With nothing but pride to play for, Delhi put on 213 for two on the board on the back of South African Rilee Rossouw's stunning 82 off 37 balls.

Even skipper David Warner was fluent during his 31-ball 46.

And the enigmatic Prithvi Shaw, playing his first match in almost a month, returned to form with a sparkling 38-ball 54.

If only these batters had come up with efforts like these in the early stages of the tournament, Delhi would still have been in the race for the playoffs.

But their stroke-filled knocks have now dealt a huge blow to the Punjab Kings' hopes of making the playoffs.

With just 12 points from 13 matches, the Kings are still in with a mathematical chance.

On Friday, Shikhar Dhawan's team will take on Rajasthan Royals, another team on 12 points from 13 games, in another make-or-break game.

The winner of that clash is still unlikely to get into the playoffs as the Royal Challengers Bangalore (12 points from 12 games) would take a big step forward if it beats the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.

The RCB would then qualify if it beats the Gujarat Titans, the first team to reach the playoffs on Sunday and Mumbai Indians (14 points from 13 matches) loses to Sunrisers Hyderabad on the same day.

Among the teams battling for the remaining three playoff spots, Chennai Super Kings (15 points from 13 matches) and Lucknow Super Giants (15 points from 13 matches) are comparatively better placed.

But none of these team can take anything for granted when they play their final league matches on Saturday when Chennai takes on Delhi and Lucknow faces Kolkata Knight Riders (12 points from 13 matches), who is still not out of the race.

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