Having lost 7 out of their 8 matches, Kings XI needed something special if they had to put an end to their miserable run in this IPL and Mahela did just that with an unbeaten ton 110(59) and quite deservingly hit the winning runs which stunned the Knight riders who had earlier made 200. Coincidentally Mahela Jayawardene was included in the playing XI just minutes before the match as Marsh injured himself. Perhaps it was this bit of luck which they needed to get back to winning ways.
Kings XI Punjab Innings
Set a target of 201, the Kings XI got off to a flier with both the openers Mahela and Bisla taking advantage of the restrictions in the first 6 overs. Bisla departed for 18 when he committed himself to a shot too early and Murali karthik bowled him. Skipper Sangakkara walked in and he knew he had his task cut out if the Kings XI had to chase down the target. The 2 srilankans put on a brilliant partnership of 95 runs in just 53 balls with Mahela being the major contributor. Kings XI were always ahead of the required rate right from the start and the Knight riders at no point looked to be in control. Sangakkara was fooled by a slower ball from bond in the 14th over but by then only 52 were required of the last 6 overs. Yuvraj Singh came up with a brilliant cameo of 33 from 16 balls. Mahela got to his century in the 18th over. He ended up with 110 runs from 59 balls which included 14 4’s and 3 maximums.
Kolkata Knightriders Innings
Saurav won the toss and decided to bat first at Eden gardens. They got off to a great start making 53 runs in the first 6 overs. But a change of pace worked for the Kings as Bopara held on to a return catch to dismiss Ganguly for 36. Kings XI pulled back the scoring rate as Kolkata reached 89/1 after 12. But it was only a matter of time before Gayle stepped on the gas and he did it against Bopara in the 13th over when he smashed him for 4 consecutive 6’s to get the momentum back. Chwala had a chance to dismiss Gayle off his own bowling but he dropped the skier. However that dropped catch didn’t prove too costly as bopara caught him for 88. The last 5 overs cost the Kings XI 51 runs. PHOTO
Player of the Match: Mahela Jayawardene