IPL FINAL : Brilliant Pandey guides KKR to second IPL triumph

Bangalore: Manish Pandey played an absolute blinder as Kolkata Knight Riders held their nerves to beat a spirited Kings XI Punjab by three wickets in an exhilarating summit clash to win the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League here on Sunday.

This was KKR’s second IPL trophy, the only team apart from Chennai Super Kings to achieve the feat. Needing 200 to win, Piyush Chawla hit the most important 13 runs of his life as he pulled Mitchell Johnson for a six off the last delivery of the penultimate over before slashing Parvinder Awana over point to run a victory lap as his delirious teammates joined him.

If Wriddhiman Saha’s 115 off 55 balls was a pure joy to watch, Pandey’s 94 off 50 balls was better than the best as he almost singlehandedly won the match for the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise. Not to forget the four sixes hit by Yusuf Pathan (36) which also was important in the final context of the match.

It was probably the most keenly contested among the seven IPL finals as the fortunes fluctuated big time. While KXIP co-owner Preity Zinta found it difficult to supress her nervous energy, Shah Rukh sat on the VIP stand like monk. The only time there was a reaction was when Chawla hit the final shot as he took his daughter Suhana in his lap.

Robin Uthappa (5) finally had an off-day as his uppish drive was smartly snapped by Akshar Patel at cover off Mitchell Johnson’s delivery. Gambhir and Manish Pandey hit a flurry of boundaries as KKR reached 59 for one at the end of the Powerplay. The KKR skipper looked in good nick with 23 off 16 balls before young leggie Karanveer Singh got him caught in the deep off David Miller as the left-hander tried to give the charge by dancing down the track.

Pandey in the meantime got the first six off the KKR innings hitting Karanveer over extra-cover.

Pandey continued playing a freeflowing innings in company of Yusuf Pathan who hit a couple of big sixes over long on and extra cover off Karanveer Singh. He followed with two huge sixes off Lakshmipathy Balaji. Pathan’s bravado ended when he tried to hit Karanveer for his fifth six only to be caught by Glenn Maxwell at the boundary line but KKR were very much in the game. However Pandey’s lusty blows had kept them in the game as they needed only 58 off the last six overs.

Shakib Al Hasan (12) was run-out as George Bailey was again inspirational on the field. Ryan ten Doeschate (2) was Karanveer’s third victim as David Miller took the catch at long-on boundary. Pandey, who was hitting sixes and boundaries at will finally got out when he tried to hit Karanveer against the turn to give a dolly to Bailey. But he had set up the match by then. Earlier, Saha played a career-defining innings as his magnificent century propelled kings XI Punjab to a competitive 199 for four after being put into bat.

Saha walked into the record books by being the first ever player to score a century in the IPL final as his unbeaten 115 off 55 balls had 10 fours and eight sixes. Saha and Vohra were swift yet brutal in their shot-making as they added a whopping 129 off 12 overs after Kings XI Punjab looked in a spot at 58 for two after the front 10. The back-10 got them as many as 141 runs thanks to the brilliant counter-attack by the Bengal stumper.

Vohra, a surprise retention at the start of the season scored 67 off 52 balls with six fours and two sixes. He was lucky on 62 as Robin Uthappa collected the ball in-front of the stumps while trying to stump him. But he was out trying to slog Chawla. The day belonged to Saha, who was in a mood to punish the spinners but played some equally good shot against the pacers including a hook shot off Morne Morkel.

Sunil Narine, who decided to give Test cricket a miss was esepcially clobbered for 46 runs in his four overs. Saha completed his century off 49 balls hitting Narine over long-on for a six which Suryakumar yadav nearly got his hand. Virender Sehwag’s (7) fans, who were expecting another swashbuckling innings were left disappointed as the veteran didn’t execute the pull-shot off a well-directed bouncer from Umesh. The resultant skier was taken by Gautam Gambhir standing at mid-off.

Then there was a battle of wits between the skipper which Gautam Gambhir won hands down. Rival skipper George Bailey promoted himself up the order which prompted Gambhir to bring in Narine. The first delivery was a big off-break as Bailey tried to play an ugly paddle shot shuffling across the line. He missed it and the leg-stump was uprooted.

Vohra on the other hand slog-swept Piyush Chawla over deep mid-wicket for a six, while Saha also got into the groove with some singles. KKR initially bowled a tight line and the slowness of the pitch helped them before Saha cut loose.

Qualifier 2: CSK VS KXIP Viru’s ton seals first IPL final for KXIP

Sehwag’s ton helped Punjab post achallenging 227-run target for two-time champions Chennai

Mumbai: Turning the clock back, Virender Sehwag showed his vintage best with a power-packed century as Kings XI Punjab humbled Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs to reach the IPL final for the first time, here today.

Sehwag becomes the only cricketer to score a T20 100, Oneday 200 and Test 300

Viru’s ton seals first IPL final for KXIP

Sehwag flattened the CSK attack with a 58-ball 122, which propelled his side to an imposing 226 for six after being invited to bat on a batting paradise at Wankhede stadium.

The Punjab side then survived carnage from Suresh Raina, who responded with a majestic 25-ball 87, as CSK managed 202 for seven in their chase.

The hand-eye coordination, which has got Sehwag thousands of runs in international cricket, was at work again as he punished the hapless CSK bowlers with utter disdain, smashing his way to the highest individual score of this season.

CSK skipper M S Dhoni shuffled his bowlers around but there was no stopping Sehwag, who entertained the Wankhede crowd with eight sixes and 12 fours.

Sehwag became only the second batsman this season to score a century after Mumbai Indians’ Lendl Simmons, who had scored an unbeaten 100 against Punjab only. And this is not first time Sehwag has scored a hundred in IPL, his first coming in 2011 for Delhi Daredevils against Deccan Chargers.

Punjab will now fight it out for the title with Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday in Bangalore.

Raina raced to second fastest fifty in IPL in just 16 balls when he lifted Sandeep Sharma over covers for a six.

In six overs, CSK were unbelievably placed at 100 for two with Raina batting on 87 from 25 balls with 84 of them coming in boundaries, 12 fours and six awe-inspiring sixes.

However, Raina was run out on the first ball after the power-play overs. Brendon McCullum called for a run but George Bailey found Raina short of crease with his direct hit.

Raina’s dismissal though opened up the gates as wickets started tumbling. Brendon McCullum (11) met with the same fate as that of Raina and Ravindra Jadeja (27) was caught brilliantly by Mitchell Johnson off Parvinder Awana.

David Hussey (1) fell in that same Awana over, leaving his skipper Dhoni with an unenvious task of scoring 84 runs from 42 balls. Dhoni has been an incredible finisher for his side but today his unbeaten 42 was not enough.

Sehwag becomes the only cricketer to score a T20 100, Oneday 200and Test 300