Knights in the Shining Armour
By S S Shreekumar | Published: 02nd June 2014 01:48 AM |
BANGALORE: Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off a sensational three-wicket victory with three balls to spare over Kings XI Punjab in a nail-biting finish to bag their second IPL T20 title at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Gallery: Knights Give Kings a Heartbreak
Needing 13 of 12 balls, Mitchell Johnson had Suryakumar Yadav caught by Manan Vohra but Piyush Chawla hoisted him over mid-wicket for a six in the last ball and the required tally trickled down to five from the last six balls.
Medium pacer Parvinder Awana bowled a dot ball to Narine and then gave away a single before Chawla square drove the next ball through point for a four to complete a terrific win.
Kolkata began their chase on a sour note as local hero Robin Uthappa, this IPL’s highest scorer, exited cheaply. Another local boy Manish Pandey and skipper Gautam Gambhir lent some substance, but Gambhir holed out to David Miller at long-on off Karanveer Singh.
But Yusuf Pathan and Pandey carried the fight forward and launched a concerted attack, which took Kolkata within striking distance after 10 overs. They needed 93 off 54 balls. Then George Bailey dropped Pandey as he tried to flick Akshar Patel outside the off stump when on 60. Bailey was caught unawares as the ball took the leading edge to cover. Pandey and Pathan added 71 runs off 7.2 overs with Pathan going great guns but he lofted Karanveer Singh to Glenn Maxwell at long on for 36.
Shakib Hasan and Pandey put on 26 runs but Shakib was run out as skipper Bailey’s throw from cover caught him short. At this juncture, Kolkata needed 44 runs off 26 balls. Karanveer Singh struck two deadly blows in an over. He had Ryan Ten Doeschate caught by Miller and the dangerous Pandey (94, 4x7, 6x6) caught by Bailey in the same over. Punjab might have sensed a comeback, but Chawla turned his former team’s nemesis.
Put in to bat by KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir after he won the toss, Kings XI Punjab made 199 for 4 thanks to a superlative, unbeaten century by Wriddhiman Saha (115, 4x10, 8x6). Saha and Manan Vohra (67) put on 129 glorious runs for the third wicket after they struggled initially.
Neither spinners nor pacers troubled them as they fetched sixes and fours at a fair premium, much to the delight of the crowd. Saha played Narine confidently and fetched him for three sixes. He wasn’t any lenient on Morne Morkel either.