Pandey adds cherry on top for Kolkata

2014-06-02 00:00

MANISH Pandey struck a superb 94 to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders to a three-wicket win over the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League final at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru yesterday.

Pandey’s superb knock off just 50 balls with seven fours and six sixes saw Kolkata reach 200-7 with three balls of their innings remaining in reply to Punjab’s 199-4.

The result was particularly hard on Wriddhiman Saha, who had scored a wonderful 115 not out off a mere 55 balls with 10 fours and eight sixes for Punjab as Kolkata secured their second IPL title.

Manan Vohra and Saha combined for a rollicking 129-run third-wicket stand after Punjab, after being asked to bat, found themselves in early trouble as they slipped to 30-2 inside six overs with Virender Sehwag (7) and George Bailey (1) both dismissed.

Opening batsman Vohra more than played his part in the partnership as he helped himself to 67 runs off 52 deliveries with six fours and two sixes before he was caught and bowled by legspinner Piyush Chawla in the 18th over.

Glenn Maxwell (0) was dismissed in the same over but the double-strike did little half Saha’s onslaught with the right-handed batsman bringing up his first T20 century off 49 balls.

Punjab had looked behind in the contest as they scored just 58 runs off the first 10 overs of their innings but Saha and Vohra upped the ante when the hammered 19 runs off 14th over, bowled by mystery spinner Sunil Na­rine and 20 runs off the 15th over, bowled by Morne Morkel.

Chawla ended with 2-44 while Narine had a match to forget as his four overs cost 46 runs.

Kolkata’s run-chase did not begin particularly well as they lost the in-form Robin Uthappa (5) early.

But Gautam Gambhir (23) and Pandey steadied the innings with a second-wicket stand of 53 before Pandey and Yusuf Pathan bludgeoned 71 runs off 7.2 overs for the third-wicket.

Pathan smashed 36 off 22 balls before being caught at long-on off the bowling of legspinner Karanveer Singh.

Karanveer ended with four wickets, but his success came at a price as he conceded 54 runs off his four overs.

Kolkata then lost wickets at regular intervals but Pandey kept them in the hunt before he was dismissed within sight of his second IPL century when he was caught in the covers off the bowling of Karanveer off the last ball of the 17th over.

Kolkata were left needing five runs to win off the last over and Piyush Chawla sealed the victory by slicing the third ball, bowled by seamer Parvinder Awana, for four behind point. “We have got four achievements, Ranji Trophy, Irani, cherry on the cake was the IPL,” Pandey said, and missed out mentioning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the third domestic tournament his team, Karnataka, won.

Scores in brief

Punjab T20 199/4 (20/20 ov)

Kolkata T20 200/7 (19.3/20 ov)

Kolkata T20 won by 3 wickets.

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