Hyderabad: Paul Valthaty turned in a superb all-round performance to lead Kings XI Punjab to a crushing eight-wicket victory over Deccan Chargers in theirIPL match.
After helping his team restrict Chargers to a modest 165 with impressive figures of four for 29, the 27-year-old Valthaty smashed his way to a whirlwind 75 of 47 balls to secure Punjab`s second win of the league.
High on confidence after his match-winning century in the previous match against Chennai Super Kings, Valthaty today proved that his effort against the defending champions the other night was no flash in the pan.
Equally dominating with the bat was skipper and Valthaty`s opening partner, Adam Gilchrist, who made a quickfire 61 off 46 balls.
Gilchrist`s innings was laced with five fours and three six while Valthaty struck eight boundaries and five sixes during his stay at the wicket.
Punjab started the innings on a rousing note with Gilchrist guiding Dale Steyn to the fine leg boundary off the first ball of the innings.
Valthaty, too, got into the thick of things cutting the South African speed merchant over point and wide of third man.
He then slapped Steyn over square leg for a four, before slashing Ishant Sharma over point for a six.
Valthaty`s best came when he smashed Manpreet Gony for 23 runs in the bowler`s first over and the innings`s fifth. Besides collecting four boundaries, Valthaty lofted Gony over long off for the maximum.
The hammering didn`t stop there as Gilchrist picked up a boundary and a six in the seventh over, and the unfortunate bowler again was Gony.
The former Australia wicketkeeper treated Daniel Christian with equal disdain, hitting him for a six and two boundaries in his first over.
Gilchrist brought up his half century in grand fashion, lofting Amit Mishra`s flighted delivery straight down the ground for a six.
Two boundary-less overs followed before Valthaty broke the shackles with a six over long-on in JP Duminy`s first ball. He did repeat five balls later to take Punjab closer of a win.
Mishra gave Chargers the breakthroughs by picking up the wickets of Gilchrist and Valthaty but by the time they got out, the match was as good as over.
Earlier, Chargers rode on Shikhar Dhawan and Christian`s useful contributions to set Punjab a modest total.
Chargers, who at one stage looked set to score over 180, were done in by Valthaty, who put the breaks on the visitors` scoring rate with his medium pace bowling.
At halfway mark of their innings, Chargers had scored 81 runs, thanks to some brisk batting by their skipper Kumar Sangakkara and opener Dhawan, but once Sangakkara (35 off 28 balls) fell to Piyush Chawla, Chargers lost the plot,
losing wickets at regular intervals.
Chargers lost opener Sunny Sohal quickly when the score read 13 even as Sangakkara and Dhawan batted well hitting boundaries at will during their 75-run partnership for the second wicket.
However, Chawla claimed the wicket of Sangakkara as he went for a slogsweep only to give a catch to Ryan McLaren at deep midwicket.
Dhawan followed his skipper as he swept Valthaty straight to short fine-leg where Sunny Singh completed a simple catch.
Dhawan scored a fast 45 that came off 36 balls and included five boundaries and a six.
Valthaty struck the most important blow when he took the wicket of Bharat Chipli, the hero of the visiting team`s previous match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Karnataka Ranji player, who was looking good after hitting a boundary off Valthaty`s, gave a simple catch to Shaun Marsh at long-on the in the very next delivery.
South African J P Duminy departed after scoring 18 runs off the bowling of McLaren.
Chirstian, who walked in after the departure of Chipli, again came good for Chargers, scoring a quickfire 30 off just 14 balls, which included two sixes and as many boundaries.
Besides Chipli, Valthaty took the wickets of Dhawan, Chirstian and Mishra by giving away 29 runs, while McLaren took two wickets.