Thrills and spills — from above

2009-04-21 00:00

THE much-vaunted IPL double-header at Kingsmead yesterday was full of thrills and spills. The likes of Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh produced the thrills, while the spills from above curtailed an interesting first match, before forcing the eagerly anticipated second match to be called off without a ball being bowled.

In the lunch-time clash, the Kolkata Knight Riders won by 11 runs, courtesy of Duckworth/

Lewis, after an enterprising stand between Gayle and skipper Brendon McCullum had sent them well on their way to chasing the 159 set by the Kings XI Punjab.

As predicted, the conditions in Durban favoured the bowlers, and it was golden arm Saurav Ganguly (2/24) who put the skids on the Punjab charge.

Irfan Pathan had started like a house on fire, getting to 32 off just 16 balls, before Ganguly got rid of him.

Punjab skipper Yuvraj, who has fond memories of Kingsmead after his sixes off Stuart Broad in the T20 World Cup two years ago, again lit up the Durban gloom.

Yuvraj’s departure for 38 saw the classy Mahela Jayawardene flay 31 off 19 balls, as the Punjab outfit set a challenging total.

The Knight Riders, though, had two of the most feared batsmen in cricket to open their innings.

Gayle and McCullum started circumspectly, before the Windies skipper assaulted the bowlers.

Local star Yusuf Abdulla was again in the line of fire. On Sunday, the Dolphins left-armer had Virender Sehwag to contend with.

That the brutal Gayle was dropped off his bowling hardly cheered Abdulla up, as he saw his two overs disappear for 20 runs.

McCullum, after smearing a flat six to the point fence off Abdulla, then got a fine edge off Malik as the clouds rolled over Kingsmead once more.

With Duckworth/Lewis in mind, Gayle upped the tempo and by the time the heavens opened the Knight Riders were ahead of the game.

For the Kings XI, it was a second dose of bad weather, but Yuvraj didn’t use that as an excuse.

“It’s a bit unfortunate, with the Duckworth/Lewis. But we did drop a catch and they got ahead,” he said. “We played well in both games, we batted well and just need to sort the bowling out.”

His counterpart, McCullum, was relieved that his side is off the mark in the points table. “It’s nice to get a result after the first game, which was a bit of a disappointment.

“We thought 150-160 would be par score on this ground, and we thought if we got a good start we would be okay. Chris got a good start and the rain probably ruined a good game. It was difficult out there, but Chris made it look pretty easy. He just cleared the ropes.”

Gayle, as laid-back as ever, scooped the man-of-the-match award and expressed disappointment that the decent crowd was denied a good finish.

The next match in Durban will see the Chennai Super Kings square off against the Delhi Daredevils at 12.30 pm tomorrow.

SCOREBOARD

Kings XI Punjab innings (20 overs maximum)

RS Bopara c McCullum b Ganguly 15

K Goel c Gayle b Sharma 0

IK Pathan c Kartik b Ganguly 32

KC Sangakkara run out (Chopra/McCullum) 26

Yuvraj Singh c Yashpal Singh b Henriques 38

DPMD Jayawardene not out 31

T Kohli c McCullum b Dinda 1

PP Chawla not out 3

Extras 12

Total 158

Did not bat: VS Malik, VRV Singh, YA Abdulla

Fall of wickets: 1-9 , 2-47, 3-48, 4-104, 5-122, 6-131

Bowling: I Sharma 4 0 24 1, AB Dinda 4 0 34 1 (1w), MC Henriques 4 0 32 1 (1w), SC Ganguly 4 0 24 2, LR Shukla 2 0 22 0 (2w), CH Gayle 1 0 14 0(3w), M Kartik 1 0 7 0

Kolkata Knight Riders innings

BB McCullum c Sangakkara b Malik 21

CH Gayle not out 44

BJ Hodge not out 10

Extras 4

Total 79

Did not bat: SC Ganguly, Yashpal Singh, A Chopra, MC Henriques, LR Shukla, I Sharma, M Kartik, AB Dinda

Fall of wickets: 1-57

Bowling: IK Pathan 3 0 27 0(2w), YA Abdulla 2 0 20 0(2w), VS Malik 2 0 23 1, PP Chawla 2 0 8 0, RS Bopara 0.2 0 1 0

Toss: Kolkata Knight Riders, who chose to field first

Points: Kolkata Knight Riders 2, Kings XI Punjab 0

Player of the match: CH Gayle (Kolkata Knight Riders)

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