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Gurkeerat, Hussey clinch nail-biting four-wicket win for Kings XI Punjab
By IPL desk
Mumbai 14 May 2012
Gurkeerat Singh (29* off 12 balls) and David Hussey (65* off 35 balls) made sure that Kings XI Punjab’s chances of making it to the DLF IPL 2012 playoffs remained alive. Their blustery 45-run stand off just 20 deliveries helped their team secure a last-ball win against the Deccan Chargers. With Hussey laying the foundation for the run-chase, Gurkeerat’s feisty strokeplay in the end, helped the hosts past DC’s score of 190.
Earlier, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, it was the usual pair of Shikhar Dhawan andCameron White that powered the Deccan Chargers to their mammoth score of 190. Dhawan opened the batting with Parthiv Patel, and the two batsmen gave the visitors a decent start as they brought up a 47-run stand, before Patel (18) fell to Azhar Mahmood off the last ball of the sixth over. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara’s (1) ordinary run with the bat continued as he was dismissed by Parvinder Awana in the very next over to leave DC stuttering at 49 for two at the end of seven overs.
Dhawan and White set about the task of rebuilding the DC innings step-by-step. The two batsmen took the Chargers past the 100-run mark in the 12th over with Dhawan bringing up his fifth half-century of the competition in the same over. Dhawan (71 off 50 balls) eventually fell to Praveen Kumar when he was caught by Awana at third man; but not before he had shared a 96-run stand with White that took DC to 145 for three at the end of 17 overs.
White and Daniel Christian then clobbered the Kings XI Punjab attack for 45 runs off the last three overs to take the visitors to 190 for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs. White remained unbeaten on 67 (off just 41 balls) while Christian (24 off 10 balls) fell to Azhar Mahmood off the penultimate ball of the DC innings.
Needing 191 to keep their playoff aspirations alive, the hosts had a terrible start as Dan Christian sent opener Nitin Saini (3) and No.3 batsman Shaun Marsh (11) back to the dugout with the KXIP score at 26. Mandeep Singh made a brisk 28 off 20 balls, but fell to Manpreet Gony when he mistimed a pull shot off the pacer only to be caught at midwicket. KXIP were 56 for three in 7.2 overs at the fall of Mandeep’s wicket.
Despite those early wickets, the hosts made a comeback through some effective partnerships. Azhar Mahmood (31 off 20 balls) and David Hussey struck a 44-run stand for the fourth wicket in just five overs before the former was stumped by Parthiv Patel off Amit Mishra’s bowling in the 13th over. Hussey then added 41 for the fifth wicket along with Siddharth Chitnis in quick time as the Kings XI captain smashed Mishra for two sixes and a four in the 15th over.
Dale Steyn, making his comeback for the Chargers in this game, struck twice in the 17th over to bring the game back in his team’s favour. The pacer removed Chitnis (11) and Piyush Chawla (8) in the space of three deliveries. At that point, the hosts required 41 runs off the last 18 balls.
It was then that Gurkeerat Singh (29 off 12 balls) stepped up big time for Kings XI Punjab. After hitting a boundary each off Dan Christian and Steyn in the 18th and 19th overs respectively, Gurkeerat hit Manpreet Gony for 19 runs off the last over, including a four off the last ball, to take the hosts home with four wickets to spare.
Chasing 171 to win, the Warriors made a horrendous start. Jesse Ryder (1) mistimed an Ajit Chandila delivery into Shane Watson’s hands at mid-on off the fifth delivery of the innings. But Chandila wasn’t done surprising PWI. The off-spinner got one past Sourav Ganguly’s (2) pads to get the Warriors’ skipper stumped. With PWI stuttering at three for two, the Royals were already on top after the first over. The situation continued to worsen for the Warriors with Chandila getting his hat-trick after luring Robin Uthappa (6) out of his crease and having him stumped by Shreevats Goswami.
The 28-year-old off-spinner’s fairytale performance continued after he bagged his fourth wicket. Anustup Majumdar (9) was completely outfoxed and lobbed a simple catch back to Chandila to reduce the away side to 26 for four. Callum Ferguson and Steve Smith brought some stability to the PWI chase, but it didn’t last long as Johan Botha trapped Ferguson (23) lbw. With the required run-rate increasing every ball, Smith (37) tried to break the shackles only to get holed out at long-on. At 89 for six, it was all but over for the Warriors as the home side kept on taking wickets to peg the Warriors back. 125 for nine is all that the Warriors could muster in 20 overs.
Earlier, Rahul Dravid won the toss and decided to bat first on a slow Sawai Mansingh Stadium wicket. PWI bowlers began well by restricting the run flow and getting the all-important early breakthrough. Rahul Dravid (21) nicked one to Robin Uthappa off an Ashish Nehra delivery to leave the home side on 29 for one. That brought the in-form Shane Watson to the crease. The Aussie, along with Ajinkya Rahane, ensured that the run-rate surged ahead thanks to some lusty hitting. The RR all-rounder looked in complete control, smashing four sixes and six fours en route to a 31-ball 58. However, Nehra dismissed the dangerous Watson by getting one to crash into his stumps.
Rahane (61), on the other hand, stroked the ball around with ease to keep the runs ticking for the Royals. Brad Hodge (14) failed to settle and perished while trying to up the ante. This gave Nehra his third wicket of the innings. At 156 for three, RR needed quick runs, but Angelo Mathews’ yorker was too much for Rahane to handle. Despite all their attacking intent, the Pune Warriors India eventually managed to limit the Royals to a 170 for four.