KKR Beat KXIP by 3 Wickets to Clinch 2nd IPL Title

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 on Sunday.
KKR Beat KXIP KKR Beat KXIP by 3 Wickets to Clinch 2nd IPL TitleKKR Beat KXIP by 3 Wickets to Clinch 2nd IPL Title:
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.

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IPL 2014 Final Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab

IPL 2014 Final Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab:

The final of the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League features 2012 champions Kolkata Knight Riders against first-time finalists Kings XI Punjab, clashing for the second time in a week.
IPL 2014 Final Preview IPL 2014 Final Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab
While Punjab were the best side in the group stage, winning 11 out of 14 fixtures, they faltered against Kolkata in the first play-off game, but fortunately had another go, beating Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs.

Both sides feature impressive batting line ups, with Kolkata boasting the tournament’s top run getter in Robin Uthappa, who has gone 10 games in a row with scored of 40 or more, four of which were half centuries.

Their form picked up after a poor start in the earlier stage of the tournament in the UAE, getting better once they dropped veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis, whose pace with the bat was holding the side back, sacrilegious as that is to say.

Since then they have won eight games in a row, and feature the tournament’s most effective all-round bowling attack. Sunil Narine continues to baffle batsmen, while Umesh Yadav and Morne Morkel have been impressive of late.

For Punjab, they are unlikely to drop Glenn Maxwell just in case he comes off though his form in the latter half of the event has been poor. Still, his presence is a threat, alongside Virender Sehwag, David Miller and George Bailey.

This is the KXIP’s first final, with their best being a semi-final place in the first edition, and since then they have not really impressed. They didn’t even make the play-offs last year, but spend huge money on Maxwell and Mitchell Johnson and it’s paid off.

Key Players
For Kolkata, their key weapon, aside from Sunil Narine, is their opening pairing with the bat. Uthappa has managed to bat himself back into the India team over the past six weeks, as has Gautam Gambhir. If they fail, they have Shakib-al-Hasan to call on, who always does better here than for Bangladesh.

Punjab’s key players are the same ones they’ve been relying on all tournament: Sehwag, Maxwell and Miller. While Maxi has dropped off, Sehwag comes into the final on the back of the tournament’s top score and only its second century this season. Miller has been consistent throughout.

Previous Meeting
Their most recent meeting was just a few days ago, in the first Qualifier. Kolkata won the match to reach this final straight away, while Punjab had to play again, against Chennai, to advance.

Kolkata had scored what seemed to be a below-par 163, but Punjab’s fearsome batting line up failed for once, making only 135. Neither Glenn Maxwell nor David Miller reached double figures as the Kolkata bowlers triumphed.

Likely Playing XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders: Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Manish Pandey, Shakib-al-Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav

Kings XI Punjab: Manan Vohra, Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, George Bailey (captain), Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Akshar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Rishi Dhawan, Karanveer Singh, Parvinder Awana

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Vintage Sehwag takes KXIP to maiden IPL final despite Raina`s blinder

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, on Friday.
Sehwag takes KXIP to maiden IPL final Vintage Sehwag takes KXIP to maiden IPL final despite Raina`s blinderVintage Sehwag takes KXIP to maiden IPL final despite Raina`s blinder:
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.

No team had ever chased a 227-run target in T20 history but Raina came up with an extraordinary knock which stunned the Punjab side and turned the match on its head.

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 in 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.
One of the most regal innings in T20s met with a tragic end but it opened up the game and Chennai were back in the match after a forgettable effort with the bowl.

Raina’s dismissal though opened up the gates as wickets starting 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.

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CSK crush Mumbai Indians to set up KXIP clash in Qualifier 2

The Chennai Super Kings kept their hopes of a third Indian Premier League title alive on Wednesday, while the defending champions, Mumbai, were sent crashing out as MS Dhoni’s men beat them by seven wickets in the Eliminator.
CSK crush Mumbai Indians CSK crush Mumbai Indians to set up KXIP clash in Qualifier 2CSK crush Mumbai Indians to set up KXIP clash in Qualifier 2:
Chennai will now come up against the Kings XI Punjab in the second Qualifier, after the latter lost to Kolkata earlier in the day. Thus, the winner between Chennai and Punjab on Friday will advance to Sunday’s final against the Knight Riders.

Chennai won the toss and chose to field first, trusting their strong batting line up to chase down any target. Mumbai got off to a worryingly good start though, with Lendl Simmons once again showing his good form.

The West Indies opener, the only centurion in the tournament this year, went on to make a brisk half century alongside Mike Hussey, as they put on 76 for the first wicket. Mr Cricket was the first to fall, eventually bagged by Ravi Jadeja.

The India spinner also claimed Simmons’ wicket, in the 17th over, having used 44 balls for his 67 and hitting four sixes. This left Mumbai on 143 for three, having lost Corey Anderson earlier on for 20.

The wickets tumbled from there as Mohit Sharma and Ashish Nehra struck repeatedly, and only Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard were able to get into double figures, and neither past 20. In the end, Mumbai made 173 for eight.

Chennai’s chase was not as simple as they would have liked, as they got off to a good start but then lost three quick wickets within a few runs of each other. Fortunately, Dwayne Smith and Faf du Plessis had set a platform of 60 runs in the first seven overs.

Once the openers were out, both in the seventh over to Harbhajan Singh, and Brendon McCullum fell for 14, the run rate climbed alarmingly. But Dave Hussey and Suresh Raina were on hand to save the day.

The Aussie veteran wowed the crowd with three big sixes in his knock of 40 off 29 balls, while Raina showed his pinch-hitting prowess with a 30-ball half century. He ended on 54 not out as they chased the score down with eight balls to spare.

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KKR beat KXIP by 28 runs, qualify for finals

Opener Robin Uthappa once again led the way for the Kolkata Knight Riders as they easily booked their place in the Indian Premier League final with a comfortable 28-run victory over the Kings XI Punjab in their postponed first Qualifier match at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
KKR beat KXIP KKR beat KXIP by 28 runs, qualify for finalsKKR beat KXIP by 28 runs, qualify for finals:
Torrential rain in the Kolkata region had seen play called off without a ball being bowled on Tuesday, but the clouds made way for sunny skies on Wednesday morning and play began on schedule at 12:30 CAT.

Uthappa then laid the platform for the Knight Riders to post 163 for eight batting first with a quick-fire 42 from 30 balls, although good contributions throughout the middle order and a flurry of runs at the death were equally responsible for the potent total on a tricky pitch.

Punjab then failed to put the target of 164 under any real threat, as they limped to 135 for eight in their 20 overs in the face of some wonderfully disciplined Kolkata bowling.

Umesh Yadav was the pick of the KKR bowlers, as he picked up three for 13 in his four overs, although Morne Morkel also provided good value with figures of 4-0-23-2.

Only Wriddhiman Saha’s 31-ball innings of 35 offered much resistance for the table toppers, although left-arm spinner Akshar Patel had earlier performed brilliantly with the ball to return figures of 4-1-11-2.

The win for KKR – their eighth in succession – puts them safely into Sunday’s final in Bangalore, while the Kings XI Punjab will have a second opportunity to book their place in the showpiece when they take on the winner of today’s eliminator match between the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians on Friday.

The Punjab reply was dented as early as the second over, when Virender Sehwag’s (2) well-timed cut shot picked out the cover fielder, and at five for one, the momentum was firmly with Kolkata.

As the clouds closed in and the drizzle descended upon Eden Gardens, it appeared to become a race against time to get at least five overs in and thus a legitimate match.

Punjab spent much of that time behind the eight ball in terms of the Duckworth Lewis par score, but a trifecta of sixes from opener Manan Vohra (26) in the fifth and sixth overs took them well beyond the par score at that stage.

However, the equation changed considerably as he skied one to mid on from the bowling of Morkel, and when the talismanic Glenn Maxwell (6) was trapped in front in the eighth over after going too far across his stumps, the Kings XI were in all sorts of trouble at 55 for three.

The relentless drizzle finally abated, and Punjab began to steady the ship. But the respite was brief, as the promising Saha scooped one to mid off to give Morkel his second wicket, before David Miller (8), who survived a close LBW appeal and a tough dropped catch at point, was bowled by Piyush Chawla (4-0-23-1) to plunge the official hosts further into the mire at 82 for five in the 13th over.

The game looked to be petering out thereafter, as wickets fell and the slow bowling proved difficult to get away. Captain George Bailey (26) did eventually click into gear, and a couple of hefty blows gave his team a glimmer of hope as they reduced the victory target to 34 from two overs.

However, mystery spinner Sunil Narine (4-0-30-0) expertly snuffed out any twists that may have been forthcoming with a near-perfect penultimate over, and a delirious crowd celebrated a richly deserved victory for their team as Yadav finished the job..

Having been earlier asked to bat first on a pitch that had been under covers for more than 24 hours, Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir (1) added substance to predictions that it would be a low-scoring affair when his miscued pull shot from a Mitchell Johnson (4-0-31-2) short delivery was well caught by opposite number Bailey at mid-on in the second over.

But after the brief spell of pressure that ensued, the in-form Uthappa began to cut loose, and carved four boundaries and two sixes in quick succession to power Kolkata to 55 for one at the conclusion of the powerplay.

But after passing 40 for the 10th consecutive innings, he holed out to Miller at long off from the bowling of Patel in the ninth over. The left-arm spinner then castled the stumps of Manish Pandey (21) three balls later, and completed an exceptional double-wicket maiden to reduce Kolkata to 67 for three.

Some much needed consolidation was provided by the duo of Shakib Al Hasan (18) and Yusuf Pathan (20), with the latter taking the score past 100 with an almighty blow over the long-off boundary midway through the 14th over.

However, it was a double strike that would once again peg KKR back. The 41-run stand came to an end when Al Hasan’s mistimed swipe was well taken by Miller running around from long off. One delivery later, Miller had his third catch of the innings and bowler Karanveer Singh (4-0-40-3) found himself on a hat-trick as Pathan contrived to hole out in similar fashion.

A rain delay of 20 minutes followed, but, following the completion of the impressive Patel’s spell immediately after, it was Kolkata who seized the initiative, as Ryan ten Doeschate (17 from 10), Suryakumar Yadav (20 from 14) and Chawla (17 not out from nine) all produced invaluable cameos to add a priceless 49 runs in the final four overs.

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IPL 2014 Qualifier1 postponed to May 28 due to rain

The first qualifier of the Indian Premier League, between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders, has been postponed to Wednesday, 1600 IST.
IPL 2014 Qualifier1 postponed IPL 2014 Qualifier1 postponed to May 28 due to rainIPL 2014 Qualifier1 postponed to May 28 due to rain:
With the Eden Gardens in Kolkata under ankle deep water following torrential rain over the last two days, the organisers were forced to put off Tuesday’s fixture by a day.

“Following the heavy rain in Kolkata over the last two days, the umpires made an early inspection of the ground at the Eden Gardens at 5:15pm and determined, after consultation with the curator, that there was no possibility of the ground being fit for play today.

“As a result therefore, the 2014 Pepsi IPL Qualifier 1 play-off match between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders has been postponed to tomorrow, Wednesday 28 May, and is scheduled to start at 4:00 pm,” read a statement from the IPL.

The organisers have kept a reserve day for all the play-off matches.

The Eliminator match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday will start at 2000 IST.

Eden curator Prabir Mukherjee is confident that the ground can be ready for Wednesday provided it doesn’t pour any more.

“The wicket is in perfect condition, while the ground looks okay, with a few damp patches here and there. The match can be played if there is no further rain, Mukherjee said.

Since there were three spells of rain till noon the groundsmen could not remove the covers and carry out the damage control measures, especially around the damp zones.

“We were hoping for the rain to stop for two hours, which would be good enough to make it (the match) a five-over-a-side affair,” Mukherjee said.

However, the fact that the whole field is under ankle deep water, despite it being fully covered, is something to be worried about.

The weather forecast has dampened the mood for the sell-out marquee clash, as the low pressure formation is likely to advance towards Kolkata and gradually “weaken in next 48 hours”.

As per the playing conditions, a minimum of five-overs-a-side is required in case of a delay, while if the team batting second consumes more than five overs, a result is possible through Duckworth-Lewis method.

In the likely scenario of a wash-out, Kings XI Punjab will make the final without a ball being bowled as they are No 1 on the points table, and KKR second.

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