Chandigarh: Kings XI Punjab remained the team to beat following their easy seven-wicket win over Cape Cobras in their last Group B encounter at Mohali on Sunday.
Chasing an innocuous target of 136, KXIP had little trouble registering their fourth successive win in the tournament.
With the semifinal berth secured, opted to field first, Akshar Patel-led KXIP bowlers showed the way, bundling the South African team for 135 in the penultimate over of the innings.
Having seen their semis hopes go up in flames earlier in the day with Hobart Hurricanes' win over Barbados Tridents, Cobras needed to take early wickets to make a game of it but when Manan Vohra (23) and Virender Sehwag (23) raced away to 41 inside six overs, the outcome had become a foregone conclusion.
Robin Peterson, who got plenty of purchase off the pitch, removed the openers but there was nothing to be worried about for the hosts.
Glenn Maxwell muscled two sixes to take the team closer to the target to the ecstasy of supporters in the stands but as has become his wont of late, the big hitting batsman attempted a brazen shot off Sybrand Engelbrecht and lost his stumps for 23.
Wriddhiman Saha (42 off 35 balls) thereafter took charge of the chase and along with David Miller (12) saw the team home with 11 balls to go.
Cobras had begun their innings on a brilliant note though, thanks to Hashim Amla and Richard Levi.
Amla, more known for his Test exploits, looked in great touch and didn't have to use power to get boundaries. He was particularly severe on Sri Lanka allrounder Thisara Perera, taking five successive fours in an over with each shot bespeaking excellent timing and elegance.
After Amla's departure for 40 off 22 balls and 60 runs on the board inside seven overs, Levi took charge of the innings and put on view plenty of discretion as the ball after getting a bit old had begun to assist the spinners a great deal.
However, soon after taking the team past 100, Levi (42 off 37 balls) had to go back to the pavilion thanks to a stunning caught and bowled by Maxwell. Between Amla and Levi's departures, Omphile Ramela (12) got a couple of attractive boundaries before playing one shot too many off Perera.
The visitors lost way following Levi's wicket as Patel (3 for 15) put their lower-order batsmen under a spell. Cobras lost their last seven wickets for just 30 runs and were bowled out for 135 in 18.3 overs.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab have won the toss and have opted to field.
Dane Vilas is captaining Cobras today because of Justin Ontong's injury, Rory Kleinveldt him. Another change for Cobras -- Langeveldt are out and Stiaan van Zyl are back.
Punjab: Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, George Bailey (Capt.), Thisara Perera, Akshar Patel, Anureet Singh, Parvinder Awana, Karanveer Singh
Cobras: Richard Levi, Stiaan van Zyl, Hashim Amla, Omphile Ramela, Dane Vilas (Capt. & wk), Robin Peterson, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Justin Kemp, Rory Kleinveldt, Vernon Philander, Aviwe Mgijima
Cape Cobras - 135 (Levi 42, Amla 40, Anureet Singh 3-12, Patel 3-15)
Kings XI Punjab - 139/3 (Saha 42*, Peterson 2-16)
Result - Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wickets
Points - Kings XI Punjab 4, Cape Cobras 0
MOM - Akshar Patel (Kings XI Punjab)