IPL desk in Mumbai 02 May 2012 - 11:59pm IST
Report: Match 44 – RCB v KXIP
KXIP hold their nerve in match of swinging fortunes
Shaun Marsh and Mandeep Singh gave KXIP a good start as they put together a 38-run stand in 4.4 overs. However, Andrew McDonald managed get past the defence of Marsh (8 off 10 balls), bowling him out. Meanwhile, Mandeep continued to play his shots and scored all over the ground. He was well supported by Nitin Saini as the two added 34 for the second wicket. Mandeep (43 off 30 balls) was eventually trapped lbw by KP Appanna in the ninth over of the innings.
Skipper David Hussey then came to the crease and picked up where Mandeep had left off. He, along with Saini, took the attack to the RCB bowlers and scored at a brisk pace to bring the required run-rate to less than six with plenty of overs still in hand. But Saini (50 off 36 balls) holed out to Daniel Vettori to give McDonald his second scalp of the night.
Just when it looked like KXIP were en route to a comfortable win, there was a little twist in the tale. Azhar Mahmood (2), Hussey (45 off 29 balls) and Abhishek Nayar (2) were run-out in the space of seven deliveries to bring the hosts well and truly back into the contest. With five runs needed off the last over, the momentum and the spectators were in RCB’s favour. However, Paras Dogra (3*) and Piyush Chawla (6*) kept their wits about them to secure the visitors a nerve-racking win off the second-last ball of the match. It was Chawla’s six over long-on that sealed the deal for KXIP.
Earlier, David Hussey won the toss and asked the hosts to take first strike. The decision paid off as Ryan Harris knocked over Mayank Agarwal’s (7) off-stump in the second over of the innings, after the right-hander hit him for a six on the off side. While Gayle and new batsman Virat Kohli scored freely against the other bowlers, Praveen Kumar bowled a very economical four-over spell up front off which he conceded only eight runs.
Gayle was dropped off Parvinder Awana in the 13th over and made the most of his second life. The Caribbean opener brought up his half-century in the same over, which ended up costing KXIP 19 runs. Even Kohli joined the party as he lashed out at the opposition bowlers, while firmly holding up the other end. But Gayle (71 off 42 balls), who hit six fours and four sixes, finally perished while trying to pull Azhar Mahmood over square leg, finding the safe hands of substitute fielder David Miller.
Kohli followed him to the hut soon, clean bowled by Piyush Chawla (45 off 42 balls) while trying to play a pull shot. After that, AB de Villiers (17) and McDonald (9) strung together a useful 20-run partnership. However, Mahmood dismissed both batsmen in the last over of the innings, in which he went for only four runs. He was the pick of the KXIP bowlers and ended with figures of 4-0-20-3. Praveen Kumar (4-0-8-0) also bowled beautifully, but didn’t have any wickets to show for his efforts. Hussey (2-0-9-0) was the other KXIP bowler to record a sub-six economy-rate.
Man-of-the-Match: Kings XI Punjab’s Azhar Mahmood for clocking match-winning figures of 4-0-20-3