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Desperately seeking a win in Cuttack, the Kolkata Knight Riders did the unthinkable – they beat the in-form Kings XI Punjab by a whopping nine-wicket margin with 12 balls to spare. Led by Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine, the KKR bowlers restricted the dangerous KXIP line-up to 149 for eight. And later, skipper Gautam Gambhir steered the run-chase with an unbeaten half-century and took his team across the line.
Earlier, Gambhir won the toss and asked KXIP to take first strike. Virender Sehwag and Mandeep Singh came out to open the innings in Cuttack, and the veteran opener helped plunder 17 runs off the first over – bowled by Jacques Kallis. However, Mandeep (0) got out in the second over itself, edging Morne Morkel to the ‘keeper. Wriddhiman Saha (15) then walked in the middle. But he became Morkel’s second victim when he was cleaned up in the sixth over.
At 48 for two, Glenn Maxwell took strike opposite Sehwag. And while the duo was pegged back for a few overs by Sunil Narine and co, Sehwag soon brought up his half-century. And by the halfway stage, the scorecard read 85 for two. But Piyush Chawla then claimed the big wicket of Maxwell (14) in the 11th over. The KKR leggie even bowled Sehwag (72) out; the Nawab of Najafgarh played a 50-ball impact innings that included eleven fours and a maximum.
David Miller (13) was the next man to depart; Umesh Yadav cleaned him up in the 16th over to leave KXIP on 120 for five. In the next over, Chawla returned to bowl Rishi Dhawan (4) out. George Bailey (12*) and Mitchell Johnson (14) then added 21 runs, before the latter was stumped off Narine with just one ball to go in the innings. KKR then effected Akshar Patel’s run-out off the final delivery of the 20th over, and restricted KXIP to 149 for eight. Chawla (4-0-19-3) was the pick of the KKR bowlers, while Narine (4-0-20-2) also had a good day at the office.
In response, Robin Uthappa and Gambhir kick started the KKR run-chase in great fashion. The duo maintained a run-rate of close to nine-an-over, and brought up the KKR 50 in the sixth over itself; they managed 55 runs in the powerplay. Uthappa (46) was the more aggressive of the two batters and he struck eight fours and a six during his 28-ball knock. He was, however, dismissed by Parvinder Awana in the seventh over.
Manish Pandey came out to bat with his captain, with the scorecard reading 68 for one. Even this pair continued undaunted while maintaining a very healthy run-rate. They brought up the team 100 in the 12th over, bringing the required run-rate down to around six-an-over. Soon, Gambhir (63*) also reached his half-century – his third this season. Thanks to his unbroken 82-run stand with Pandey (36*), the Knight Riders registered a massive nine-wicket with a full two overs to spare.
Man of the Match: Gautam Gambhir for leading a successful run-chase
Led by MS Dhoni’s final-over heroics, Chennai Super Kings defeated Mumbai Indians by a four-wicket margin with three balls to spare. In their chase of 158, the Men in Yellow were propelled by a solid half-century by opener Dwayne Smith, apart from their skipper’s late-innings cameo. Meanwhile, R Ashwin was the pick of the visitors’ bowlers, picking up three wickets for 30 runs in his four overs. As a result of this loss, MI’s prolonged unbeaten run at Wankhede Stadium came to an end.
Earlier, CSK won the toss and chose to field first. MI opened their innings with Lendl Simmons – who was making his IPL debut – and CM Gautam, while leg-spinner Samuel Badree, who was playing his first game in CSK colours, took the new ball. The leggie got the better of Gautam (9) in the third over, leaving MI on 16 for one. However, Simmons and Ambati Rayudu then struck a few big sixes as they took MI past the 50-run mark. At the halfway stage, the scorecard read 57 for one.
But the second-wicket stand was broken by R Ashwin when he claimed the wicket of Simmons (38) in the 12th over. At 77 for two, Rohit Sharma came out to bat with Rayudu, and the pair brought up the MI 100 in the 16th over. Rayudu then brought up his half-century in the next over. But Ashwin soon dismissed Rohit Sharma (19) to leave MI on 122 for three in 17.3 overs. Ashwin then claimed Pollard (0) cheaply to bag his third wicket of the game. Rayudu (59) then perished off the bowling of Mohit Sharma in the next over. At that point, the MI score was 129 for five in 18.1 overs.
Corey Anderson (18*) and Aditya Tare (9) then put up a quick-fire 28 off 11 balls, before the latter was dismissed by Ishwar Pandey off the last delivery of the innings. Thanks to the late hitting by the sixth-wicket pair, MI managed 157 for six in 20 overs.
In response, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum gave CSK a steady start. But with 29 runs on the board, the newly-inducted Praveen Kumar claimed his first wicket in a Mumbai Indians jersey; the pacer trapped McCullum (13) leg-before in the fifth over. Smith was then joined by Suresh Raina, and together the duo added 27 runs for the second wicket. Pollard then had Raina (19) stumped in the eighth over with the CSK score on 56. But Smith, in the company of Faf du Plessis, kept chipping away at the target. The pair brought up the CSK 100 in the 14th over. Smith (57) then brought up his half-century – the slowest of IPL 2014 – off 49 balls.
But Praveen Kumar then dismissed the hard-hitting opener immediately after he struck the pacer for a maximum. With the scorecard reading 119 for three in 15.3 overs, MS Dhoni took guard, with du Plessis at the other end. But then, Lasith Malinga came into the attack and dished out his trademark yorker to bowl du Plessis out. Ravindra Jadeja (6) then added 17 runs off 13 balls with his skipper, before he dragged a Malinga delivery back onto the stumps. Mithun Manhas (1) was run-out off the very next ball, leaving the run-chase equation on 11 off six balls. But with Dhoni (22*) at the wheel, the Men in Yellow were steered to yet another famous win – the CSK skipper struck a six and a four to register a four-wicket win with three balls to spare.
Man of the Match: Dwayne Smith for his match-winning knock