Match 54: Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Dhoni came to the party when his team needed him the most. His 29 ball 54 blitzkrieg took his side to the semi-finals for the 3rd season in a row. He blasted 25 runs in the final 2 overs to remind everyone that he is still one of the best finishers of the game. Kings XI once again failed to defend a big total which has been the story of the season – their batsmen have piled on more runs than all teams except Mumbai Indians, but their bowling has has let them down big time. Having made 192, it was a tough ask for the Super Kings to chase it down but given that they had no other way but to go for it made the innings interesting. It began badly for them as they lost both their openers quickly but Raina and Badrinath got the innings back on track before Dhoni’s onslaught stunned the Kings XI at their home ground Dharamshala.
Match 51: Deccan Chargers pulled off a thriller against Kings XI winning their 4th consecutive game by virtue of which they are still in contention for that all important semi final berth. Put in to bat at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharmashala, Kings XI posted 174 on a wicket which had more grass than all the pitches combined in India. Chargers two star overseas batsmen Gilchrist and Symonds didn’t do much, but once again the local talent did it for them. Suman and Rohit’s timely partnership of 66 in 39 balls got them past the line. If you had to name a batsman who can be graceful yet lethal it has to Rohit Sharma who made a brilliant 68 from 38 and ensured that Chargers didn’t choke this time (referring to the game against Rajasthan)
Match 44 : Win the toss and bat first has been the success mantra on the Delhi pitch leaving out the game when Hayden exploded with his mongoose but it was not long ago that the pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla was criticized and subsequently banned for a year. The devil in the pitch all of a sudden became alive and Delhi crumbled to hand Kings their 3rd win in a row. Who said T20 was only a batsmen’s game??
Kings XI Innings
The 2 teams which were going to clash tonight came into the match with very different intentions – Kings XI had no hope of making it to the semi finals and Mumbai Indians were just a win away from securing a berth in the semi final. However all that didn’t matter as Mumbai Indians didn’t have an answer to an inspired Kings XI unit who didn’t put a foot wrong in the entire match to snatch an easy victory and as a result have opened up the IPL standings. It is a pity that we had to wait so long to see Kings XI produce their best all-round performance of the tournament but on the brighter side they can spoil the party for some of the teams trying to guarantee a spot in the semi finals.
It was a match between two teams, whose intentions were completely different. Kings XI were playing for PRIDE and the Royals were playing for the PRIZE. Forget about pride the Kings XI were thrashed by Rajasthan Royals who were playing their first match at their home ground Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur. Set to chase a modest 157 the Royals made a mockery of the target by getting the runs with 5 overs to spare.
Rajasthan Royals Innings
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
The worst fielding effort in this IPL and a sparkling cameo from Uthappa cost Kings XI the match against Bangalore Royal Challengers. Kings XI were in control for most part of the match but then in T20 you need to keep the opposition down for the entire match and can’t relax even for an over. Kings XI have only to blame themselves for losing their 7th match as Bangalore Challengers got one step closer to that semifinal berth.
Bangalore Royal Challengers Innings
The table toppers Mumbai Indians were clashing with the team at the bottom Kings XI Punjab and with the form that Mumbai is in nobody would have expected a thriller out of this game. Chasing 163, Mumbai Indians won the game with 3 balls to spare. With this win they have won 6 out of their 7 games and Kings XI are at the other end of the tunnel having lost 6 out of their 7. They looked better today but still couldn’t hold on to their nerves in the end.
Mumbai Indians Innings
IPL 3 has been a roller coaster ride for many teams but for one team it has been a total disaster. No prizes for guessing which team that is. Kings XI Punjab sank to a new low as they lost their 5th game out of 6 games that they have played. Knight Riders outplayed them in every department as they lost their 3rd successive game in their home ground. Maybe they should shift their base like Deccan Chargers: P. To make matters worse Sangakkara has been banned for the next match as his side was found guilty of not completing their overs on time, for the third time in the IPL.
It was a clash between two teams placed at the bottom of the IPL standings and Rajasthan Royals came on top of Kings XI Punjab who were comprehensively beaten by 31 runs thanks to the and disciplined bowling effort from the Royals. By virtue of this win they jumped to joint 4th position whereas Kings XI is at the bottom having lost 4 of their 5 games. Though the margin of defeat indicates a dominating show by Rajasthan, Punjab had their chances but they didn’t take them.