|Scorecard:||Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians|
|Player:||KC Sangakkara, IK Pathan, YA Abdulla, JP Duminy|
|Event:||Indian Premier League 2009|
DateLine: 29th April 2009
This was one for the world of fairytales. Defending a pathetic 119 runs, Kings XI Punjab pulled off one of the most amazing wins of the Indian Premier League. They choked out one of the best batting line-ups of the tournament to carve out an improbable three-run over Mumbai Indians, to jump to third on the points tally.
The rot began early, when Irfan Pathan made the early inroad, dismissing Sanath Jayasuriya in the first over and then Vikramjeet Malik bowled the over of his life, recovering from a no-ball to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar.
Once these two were gone, the cat was among the pigeons as the Punjab bowlers choked out the runs on a track that wasn’t really the best to bat on.
Yusuf Abdulla and Pathan were the bowlers who made the inroads though all of them, especially Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar and Malik did their bit. Abdulla took care of Shikhar Dhawan and 12 for three after just 4.1 overs, Mumbai were always up against it.
JP Duminy was one man who kept his team alive but he got almost no support from the other end, and once Dwayne Bravo and Abhishek Nayar was dealt with, Mumbai were looking down the barrel.
Duminy kept them going from one end, with a fine though painstaking half-century and when he finally departed in the last over bowled by Abdulla. That over, and the one before bowled by Chawla, where he snared the potentially dangerous Harbhajan Singh, ended up as the winning formula for the Punjab team.
Ideally, Mumbai had no business losing this game after having done so well in the first innings. But it must have been pure complacency to have lost from such a stage.
However that does open up the tournament, and Punjab, like last time around, are beginning to come to terms with the pressures, promising for a tantalising tournament.
The Punjab innings was a shambles from the beginning, as they simply didn’t have any clue to the combinations being created by Tendulkar. He bowled Malinga for just one over in his initial spell, and brought on Harbhajan Singh in the 4th over, and immediately struck gold as Karan Goel got too extravagant.
In fact, almost all the bowling changes brought in by the captain worked. JP Duminy was good enough to deal with Yuvraj Singh, a big blow to the Punjab efforts, while Jayasuriya’s first over found compatriot Mahela Jayawardene holing out.
Punjab had to thank Kumar Sangakkara for whatever runs they got, since not one other batsman looked at any stage like he had any idea about how to deal with the slow stuff of the spinners, or the searing pace and incredible accurate yorkers from Malinga, who made sure none of the lower order got close to getting a score.
Sangakkara remained unbeaten on 45 off 44 deliveries, but the next highest score was extras at 17, ample proof of how badly the innings went for the Punjab boys.
The bowling was naturally impressive, with Zaheer Khan and Malinga being great with the seam up stuff, while all the rest had something to contribute. All the bowlers, barring Tendulkar himself, had something in the wickets column. The Mumbai fielding also was top notch, and Dhawan was outstanding in the deep, adding to the pressure.