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KXIP hold their nerve in match of swinging fortunes
By IPL desk
Mumbai 02 May 2012
After upsetting the mighty Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab won a thriller against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. After being set a 159-run target, KXIP got home with four wickets in hand and a single ball to spare.
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. Scorecard
Man-of-the-Match: Kings XI Punjab’s Azhar Mahmood for clocking match-winning figures of 4-0-20-3
Negi, Sehwag star in Delhi Daredevils’ six-wicket rout of Rajasthan Royals
By IPL desk
Mumbai 01 May 2012
Rarely has the cricketing world been blessed with an opportunity to utter two words, Sehwag and Consistency, in the same breath. If ever there was a moment for that to happen, it is this. Often accused of frustrating with his indiscretion, the Delhi Daredevils skipper left everyone in awe by becoming the first player in the history of not only the IPL but Twenty20 cricket to strike five consecutive half-centuries. Virender Sehwag blasted 73 runs off 38 balls as DD romped home by six wickets against the Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The victory was thumping as it came with 28 balls to spare.
Chasing 142, the Daredevils lost Mahela Jayawardene for a duck to Ankeet Chavan in the first over. In his next over, Chavan was clobbered for three consecutive boundaries by Sehwag – two through midwicket and one over long-on. No bowler was spared from the Sehwag slaughter. He scored runs in every part of the ground – equally adept on the front and back foot. When on 45, Sehwag upper-cut Pankaj Singh for six, bringing up his fifty in just 20 balls. When Brad Hogg eventually got him in the 15th over, Sehwag had already cakewalked the Daredevils to the doors of victory with his blistering knock. The match-winning score was laced with 12 fours and a six.
Earlier, upon electing to bat first, RR threw away a great start to end up with a modest total of 141 for six.
Holding the team’s innings together while wickets keep tumbling over all around him; Rahul Dravid has been in such a situation innumerable times during his 15-year-long international career. In this match, the RR skipper once again found himself playing the role of a “Wall”.
The Royals’ innings began with what has now become a norm – an elegant Dravid-Rahane opening partnership, of 71 runs. However, the calm created by the two classical batsmen was broken by a storm called Pavan Negi. After the first wicketless over, the 19-year-old left-arm spinner got rid of Ajinkya Rahane (42 off 32 balls), Shane Watson (8), Brad Hodge (1) and Ashok Menaria (2) in his next three. Negi’s best Twenty20 figures of four for 18 derailed RR’s campaign to post a formidable target against the dangerous DD batting line-up. With Umesh Yadav scalping Owais Shah (1), RR lost four of their main batsmen for a single digit score.
Despite all the chaos around him, Dravid stood unperturbed. Each of his seven fours was a little lesson in batsmanship. They came all round the wicket through the typical Dravid-like cover-drives, flicks and backfoot punches. The melody ended when Dravid missed a shortish delivery from Morne Morkel, which hit his stumps after brushing his pads. Dravid departed for 57 off 43 balls.