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A terrific team effort from Kings XI Punjab’s bowlers secured them a two-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a keenly contested encounter at the Eden Gardens. Adam Gilchrist’s men successfully defended their total of 134 thanks mainly due to Piyush Chawla and Bhargav Bhatt’s excellent spells. The Knights, struggling to get into a rhythm in IPL 2012, succumbed under pressure once again.
The Kings needed some inspiration if they were to defend their total and it came right at the outset. Paras Dogra flung to his left to send a shocked Jacques Kallis (1) packing in the second over. Gautam Gambhir showed flashes of brilliance during his quickfire innings of 22 but the KKR skipper was found wanting after he checked a drive to gift an easy return catch to Dimitri Mascarenhas. The home side found some solidity thanks to Manvinder Bisla (27) and Manoj Tiwary (20) but Bhargav Bhatt got the better of Tiwary while Bisla was cleaned up by Piyush Chawla.
The talented leggie was just beginning to get into his stride and he struck a double blow by dismissing Yusuf Pathan (0) and Shakib Al Hasan (4) in quick succession. At 88 for six, the Knights were showing signs of frailty but Debabrata Das’ innings was proving to be crucial. With nine required off the last over, Harmeet Singh bowled ten Doeschate. Das couldn’t quite get the boundary off the last ball and the Kings from Punjab got a well-deserved two-run win.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and decided to have a bowl on a dusty Eden Gardens wicket. The KKR skipper’s decision immediately bore fruit as off-spinner Sunil Narine dismissed Adam Gilchrist (5) and the in-form Shaun Marsh (1) in consecutive overs. The Windies spinner first induced the KXIP skipper to play a rash shot that skied up and then completely outfoxed Marsh to rattle his off-stump. At 21 for two the visitors needed to consolidate their innings and the fightback came courtesy a 52-run partnership between Mandeep Singh (38) and David Hussey (32). The right-handed duo batted prudently to keep the runs flowing, albeit at a modest rate. The Knight Riders resumed ascendancy after Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Mandeep. Hussey was the next to go after some miscommunication between him and Paras Dogra resulted in the Aussie’s run-out. The Kings, looking for quick runs, played right into the hands of the Knights as Rajat Bhatia and Narine once again pegged the visitors back; Dogra (6), Bipul Sharma (12), Dimitri Mascarenhas (0), Praveen Kumar (0) and Harmeet Singh (14) all fell to the KKR duo’s skill. Piyush Chawla’s spirited 13*, and Bhargav Bhatt’s last-ball six, helped KXIP reach a competitive total of 134 for nine in 20 overs.
Ryder, Smith lift Pune Warriors India past Chennai Super Kings
By IPL desk
Mumbai 15 April 2012
The Dada v Dhoni duel ended with the Pune Warriors India winning their second consecutive match at their home ground by seven wickets. Powered by Jesse Ryder’s unbeaten 73 and a 44-run cameo by Steven Smith PWI are back on top of the IPL 2012 table.
In only the second match to be played at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here, defending champions Chennai Super Kings opted to bat first and set the home team a target of 156 runs.
Murali Vijay’s poor run in IPL 2012 continued as the opener departed after contributing just eight runs to the 43-run first wicket stand. The batsman flicked Ashok Dinda to Angelo Mathews at deep square-leg. In contrast to Vijay, his opening partner, Francois du Plessis picked up from where he had left off in the previous innings. The South African all-rounder, who hit two sixes and four boundaries, batted with ease until Rahul Sharma had him stumped. Although he missed out on a half-century, du Plessis claimed the Orange Cap thanks to his 33-ball 43, which took his overall tally to 171 runs.
In his next over, the Rahul Sharma claimed Suresh Raina. A superb catch by Steven Smith at long-on saw the back of the dangerous southpaw, who departed for 20. Ravindra Jadeja, who then joined CSK skipper MS Dhoni at the crease, wasted no time in taking the bowlers on. The all-rounder first hit the ball over Murali Kartik’s head and then sent the left-arm spinner into the stands over long-on. However, the left-arm spinner, who replaced Manish Pandey in the side, conceded only 18 runs in three overs. He was supported by Marlon Samuels and Ashok Dinda, who kept the flow of runs in check with some good spells.
Jadeja though continued to plunder runs off the PWI attack, while Dhoni played a relatively sedate innings. On the last ball of the penultimate over, the CSK captain was caught at long-off by Murali Kartik off Dinda as he took the aerial route. The defending champions attempted to accelerate towards the end of the innings. They lost Jadeja (44) while attempting to clear the ropes for the third time. It was once again Smith who took a good catch at long-on off Ashish Nehra to end Jadeja’s 26-ball stay at the crease. Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo remained unbeaten on three and five respectively as CSK finished with 155 for five in 20 overs.
Chasing a competitive total, PWI opener Robin Uthappa was the first to walk back to the dressing room with just 31 runs on the board. After adding another 34 runs to the total, skipper Sourav Ganguly too was run out while attempting a second run. A while later Yo Mahesh playing his first match of IPL 2012 found Samuels’ off-stump, which brought out all-rounder Smith to the crease. The Australian lofted Raina over mid-wicket for a big six in the following over.
Meanwhile, Jesse Ryder continued to score off the CSK bowling attack ensuring the flow of runs. The PWI opener anchored the innings, in a match that was evenly poised with five overs to go. It was then up to the experienced Kiwi campaigner and the Australian youngster to take the Warriors through. The batsmen then took on Bravo. While Ryder sent him over the ropes in the 16th over, Smith smashed a six and a four in the West Indian’s next over ensuring that the asking rate was kept in check.
With 22 required off 12 balls and the most economical of CSK bowlers R Ashwin having finished his quota of overs, Dhoni brought in Nuwan Kulasekara. The Sri Lankan pacer, who was making his first appearance of IPL 2012, was hit for consecutive boundaries by Smith in an over that cost CSK 12 runs. With PWI requiring 10 off the last over and two set batsman at the crease, the CSK captain handed the ball to Yo Mahesh, who was sent down the fine leg for a four followed by a six by Smith to seal the match for PWI with four balls to spare.