Kolkata: It was a run riot by Mahela Jayawardene that ended his team Kings XI Punjab’s losing streak and took them to a comfortable 8-wicket victory against Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League encounter here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
Claiming his 12th IPL century, Jayawardene played an inning of a life-time and literally snatched the victory from KKR’s clutches as he smashed 14 boundaries and three sixes to post humungous personal score of 110.
This was one match that was absolutely high on entertainment factor; first it was Chris Gayle who played a rampaging 88-run innings that helped KKR to post a mammoth total of 200 runs, and then it was Jayawardene, whose scintillating century helped KXIP to chase down that mammoth total with an over to spare. It is just the 3rd time when a team chasing a 200 plus total won the match.
Earlier, it was brutality at its best as a rampaging inning by Chris Gayle helped Kolkata Knight Riders post a gargantuan 200/3 against Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League encounter here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
After winning the toss, KKR skipper Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat first. Like the previous match, this time too the Prince of Kolkata hoped to contribute significantly to his team. But Ravi Bopara took a stunner of a catch to dismiss Ganguly early for 36 runs.
Gayle, later, took the perfect revenge from Bopara for dismissing Ganguly as he gifted him the most expensive over in the history of the Indian Premier League so far, that is, 33 runs off a single over.
Gayle was at his atrocious best in the 13th over as he hit four sixes in a row to claim his second IPL half-century.
Ganguly’s dismissal slowed down KKR’s run-rate by a minute margin. But it was after the strategic time-out when Gayle took KXIP by a storm, hitting sixes one after another and giving Sangakkara’s men no time to rest.
Piyush Chawla later missed golden opportunity to dismiss the rampaging Knight Rider and dropped it in a most clumsy manner possible. Later, it was Bopara, along with bowler Juan Theron, who did the honours and caught Gayle for a massive 88 runs that came off just 42 balls. Not to forget, his 88 runs were composed of six fantabulous boundaries and eight massive sixes.
Gayle’s dismissal again saw KKR’s run-rate slope going down. Where at one point of time, one could easily project a total of 230+ for KKR, things started going the other way round.
A couple of overs later, Manoj Tiwary lost his wicket for 35 runs. Finally, a couple of boundaries by Angelo Matthews (17) and David Hussey (11) helped KKR post 200/3.
Where on one hand, everybody thought a target of 201 to be too huge for KXIP, given their poor show in the recent IPL matches, Jayawardene proved every critic wrong.
Starting the chase with Manvinder Bisla, Jayawardene hit some fabulous boundaries since the very beginning.
Opening the innings with Bisla, Jayawardene got straight down to business as he took his team beyond the 50-run mark the fifth over itself at a superb run rate of 11, as compared to a required rate of 9.5. However, that over also saw Bisla’s dismissal by Murali Karthik, who, like always came to his team’s rescue and dismissed him for 19 runs.
But that did not hamper Jayawardene’s spirits as his timely boundaries clearly indicated his desperation to end his team’s losing streak and forced KKR to wonder if a total of 200 was sufficient enough.
Later, Shane Bond assured that all was not lost and took Sangakkara’s wicket for Kolkata Knight Riders. He got the Lankan batsman caught by David Hussey for 38 runs.
Finally, Yuvraj Singh (33) to send the cherry beyond the boundary ropes ample number of times to further take his team closer to victory. In the end, it was Jayawardene who did the final honours and hit a boundary to neatly seal the victory by 8 wickets for his team.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly (c), Chris Gayle, Cheteshwar Pujara, Manoj Tiwary, David Hussey, Angelo Mathews, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ajit Agarkar, Murali Kartik, Shane Bond and Jaydev Unadkat.
Kings XI Punjab: Kumar Sangakkara (c), Mahela Jayawardene, Manvinder Bisla, Ravi Bopara, Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Juan Theron, Piyush Chawla, Shalabh Srivastava, Bipul Sharma and Ramesh Powar.