May 31 (): Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) qualified for their first IPL final by beating Chennai Super Kings(CSK) by 24 runs at Mumbai yesterday.
The match as expected was a run fest. For the third time this season, Kings XI Punjab scored 200+ against CSK and each time, they have been victorious. Only difference – Maxwell was the tormentor on the previous two occasions while in this match it was Sehwag who demolished the bowlers.
Put into bat, Sehwag and Vohra started positively bringing the teams 50 in just 4.2 overs. The 4th over of the innings by Pandey was the launch pad, as Vohra hit 2 sixes and Sehwag scored 2 boundaries to take 24 off the over. Shewag followed up with 3 more boundaries of consecutive deliveries bowled by Nehra and in the process helped KXIP score 40 runs in 10 deliveries with the help of 6 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Sehwag brought up his 50 in 21 balls and they put on a partnership of 110 with Vohra contributing 34. Sehwag did not slow down after Vohra’s wicket, hitting Nehra for 2 consecutive sixes and bringing up his 100 in exactly 50 deliveries. Nehra got Sehwag , but not before he had scored 122 off 58 deliveries with 8 huge sixes and 12 boundaries. He had ensured that his team crossed 200 in the 18th over.
Miller played a cameo scoring 38 off 19 balls and kept Sehwag good company. Ashwin and Jadeja gave away 92 runs among them in 8 overs while Nehra was taken apart, thanks to Sehwag, for 51 runs.
Chasing 227 for a birth in the finals, CSK lost F du Plessis in the 2nd ball of the innings. This brought in Raina to the crease bringing to fore one of the best T20 innings ever seen. Raina scored 18 runs off Sandeep Sharma in the 2nd over and by hitting Johnson for 2 sixes , helped his team reach 50 in 3.5 overs.
The 6th over bowled by Awana turned out to be a spectacular one with Raina ripping him apart with a score line reading 6,6,4,4,4 (nb), 4 and 4. The bowler had conceded 33 runs and CSK had put on 100 in just 6 overs, the highest score ever in T20 by the end of power play. Raina was on 87 off just 25 deliveries, a score which was a run above the 86 scored by any team in an IPL power play. This also brought down the required rate to 9 from 11.5 at the beginning of the innings.
KXIP hit back strongly in the very first delivery after the time out as Bailey caught Raina short of his crease. The batsmen headed back with 12 fours and 6 sixes to his name and had created an opportunity for his team to chase 227. Dhoni failed to promote himself in the order and it backfired with the team failing to score the required runs and were able to add only 104 in 14 overs after Raina had helped them score 100 in just 6 . Dhoni remained not out on 42 but it was not enough to take his team to the finals of IPL 7.