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Thanks to yet another all-round display, Kings XI Punjab clocked in a massive seven-wicket win against the Delhi Daredevils in Mohali. After dismissing the bottom-placed side for 115, the KXIP batters ensured their side got over the line with seven wickets in hand and 6.1 overs to spare.
Earlier, KXIP asked DD to bat first upon winning the toss. While Kevin Pietersen came out with a positive mindset, he got virtually no support at the end. The Daredevils lost Mayank Agarwal (2) in the third over; he was dismissed by Mitchell Johnson. Dinesh Karthik (13) came to bat at No.3, and while he struck three fours during his seven-ball knock, he returned to the dugout without making a big impact – courtesy Parvinder Awana – leaving DD on 44 for two. And a few balls later, Awana also got rid of Kedar Jadhav (0) to rock the visitors on the back foot.
Pietersen, meanwhile, rallied on and brought up his team’s 50 by the end of the seventh over. But soon, he lost yet another batting ally, when Manoj Tiwary (8) was run out in the 10th over. By the halfway stage, DD had scored 69 runs for the loss of four wickets. However, undeterred by the procession of wickets at the other end, Pietersen brought up his half-century in the 11th over with a strike to the boundary. But his liaison with JP Duminy (8) came to an end, when the latter was foxed by the leg-spin of Karanveer Singh in the 13th over. And then, Rishi Dhawan broke Pietersen’s (58) resistance in the next over, when he had the DD skipper trapped leg-before.
Jimmy Neesham and Shahbaz Nadeem (2*) then took their team’s total past 100 in the 15th over. However, after adding 17 runs for the seventh wicket, Karanveer Singh struck again, to dismiss Neesham (12). Akhaar Patel then dealt a double-blow in the 18th over to get rid of Mohammed Shami (0) and Imran Tahir (4) in quick succession. Mitchell Johnson then got rid of Jaydev Unadkat (0) to wrap up the DD innings for 115 in 18.1 overs.
In response, KXIP lost two big wickets early on. Shami dismissed Virender Sehwag (9) in the third over, and then, Unadkat gave his team a major breakthrough by getting the better of Glenn Maxwell (0) in the very next over. However, Manan Vohra (47) and David Miller (47*) ensured there were no further hiccups as the duo took their side within four runs of the target. During their 60-ball partnership, they struck a total of eight fours and three sixes as they dispatched any loose offerings from the DD bowlers to and over the fence. And while both of them missed out on much deserved half-centuries, thanks to their efforts, KXIP finished the league stage with 22 points to cap off a dominant regular season that saw them lose only thrice in 14 games.
The only consolation for the Daredevils was the fact that Vohra (47) was cleaned up by Imran Tahir with the KXIP score on 112. Miller (47*) eventually sealed the game with a maximum, as his team got over the line in 13.5 overs with seven wickets in hand. The table-toppers now face the Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on May 27 in Qualifier 1. Man of the Match: Manan Vohra for his outstanding batting performance
Yusuf Pathan (72 off 22 balls) stole all the headlines even as the Kolkata Knight Riders made it to the top-two of the Pepsi IPL 2014 points table by upstaging CSK’s net run-rate. Needing to scale the 161-run target set by Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Knight Riders got home in just 14.2 overs with five wickets in hand. In the process, Yusuf also recorded the fastest fifty in IPL history in front of a capacity crowd at Eden Gardens.
Earlier, KKR drew first blood after opting to field first; Morne Morkel bowled David Warner (4) out in the first over of the match. However, Shikhar Dhawan and Naman Ojha then brought the SRH innings back on track. They helped the visitors score 49 runs in the powerplay and continued to strike regular fours and occasional sixes. But in the eighth over, Ojha (26) had to walk back to the dugout, after he was caught by Ryan ten Doeschate off his own bowling, leaving SRH on 69 for two. And 20 runs later, Dhawan (29) also departed, as a result of a run-out.
Darren Sammy then joined forces with Venugopal Rao and took the SRH score past 100 – in the 14th over. The pair added 32 runs off 16 balls, before Rao (27) also fell prey to a mix-up that resulted in his run-out. Shakib Al Hasan then foxed Srikkanth Anirudha (3), who was promptly stumped by Robin Uthappa in the 17th over. However, Sammy and Jason Holder ensured they took their team’s total past the 150 mark, thanks to their 18-ball 28-run stand. But both batsmen got out in the final over of the innings. Holder (16) was the first to go, courtesy a run-out – the third of the innings. Sammy (29) departed off the very next ball when he holed out to Shakib off the bowling of Vinay Kumar. SRH ended up posting a competitive 160 for seven in 20 overs.
In response, Gautam Gambhir (28) went after the opposition bowlers from the word go. He was ably supported by Robin Uthappa as the duo added 43 runs in quick time. However, the KKR skipper got out off the bowling of Holder in the fifth over. Manish Pandey (2) was the next man to depart; with the KKR score on 55, the middle-order batsman holed out to Dale Steyn off Karn Sharma’s bowling. Meanwhile, Uthappa (41) kept chipping away at the target. But his 30-ball innings came to an end when he tried to dispatch Karn Sharma over the fence and ended up handing a catch to Holder in the 10th over. KKR then suffered another blow in the same over as ten Doeschate (0) was found short of his crease.
At the halfway mark, the scorecard read 78 for four, and two of KKR’s most hard-hitting batsmen – Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan – were in the middle. Thanks to two fours and two sixes off Yusuf’s willow, the 11th over yielded 22 runs. The right-hander then struck two more maximums in the next over as he brought the required rate under six-an-over. However, KKR needed to scale the target in 15.2 overs to upstage CSK’s net run-rate and end up in the top two on the points table.
But Shakib (1) was dismissed in the same over – the 12th of the innings – by Karn Sharma. However, Yusuf did not relent as he struck Steyn for a four and a six off back-to-back deliveries to bring up his fifty, off just 15 balls – the fastest half-century in the IPL. Unfortunately for Steyn and SRH, it did not end there as Yusuf struck another six and two fours off the South African pacer to plunder a total of 26 runs off the 13th over. Yusuf (72) hit another six – taking his innings tally to six maximums – before Karn Sharma ended his 22-ball blinder.
However, Suryakumar Yadav – who struck two big hits himself, including the score-tying six – made sure KKR got home in 14.2 overs. As a result of this thumping five-wicket victory, the Knight Riders finished their league play ahead of CSK and will now face KXIP in Qualifier 1, at Eden Gardens on May 27.
Man of the Match: Yusuf Pathan for his match-winning half-century