Kings from Punjab win a keen battle
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Kings XI Punjab v Delhi Daredevils
Player:B Lee, IK Pathan, KC Sangakkara, A Nehra
Event:Indian Premier League 2009

DateLine: 15th May 2009


Fifteen runs came off the eighteenth over as Irfan Pathan (21 off 11 balls) played a little cameo striking two huge sixes off the bowling of Pradeep Sangwan, and that essentially decided thbe game in favour of Kings XI Punjab against Delhi Daredevils


Until this over, Punjab needed 30 to win off three overs. After Sangwan’s over, Maharoof gave away 13 runs in the next over to make the task a cakewalk. Irfan again hit a six in this one.


Finally Sangakkara (43) hit a boundary of the first ball of the last over and provided a much needed win for Punjab as they won by six wickets at the OUTsurance Oval in Bloemfontein. With this win, Punjab have revived their hopes of reaching the final four of the IPL second edition.


Chasing a modest target of 121 runs, Punjab lost Simon Katich (20) early as Farveez Maharoof claimed his wicket. The two openers though had started off in rollicking fashion scoring 20 runs in the first two overs before being separated.


Ashish Nehra soon returned Sunny Sohal (3) as the batsman looked to play one ultra fine, exposing all the three stumps to the bowler. Nehra did not need an invitation considering the immaculate line and length he bowled throughout his spell of 4-1-6-1.


Maharoof then struck as Luke Pomersbach (9) could not keep his bat away from an outswinger and the edge was fantastically taken by AB De Villiers in the slips.


Then Kumar Sangakkara and Yuvraj Singh (18) steadied the Punjab boat and slowly started taking their side towards the victory target. Yuvraj though never looked comfortable. Sometimes the ball struck the bottom of his bat and sometimes the edge. He finally gave a simple catch to Virender Sehwag at point off Sangwan but not before he had brought his team within sniffing distance of victory.


Post his fall, Pathan came in to bat. He made his intentions of going after the bowling and finishing it off in a hurry quite clear from the outset.


Earlier, after having elected to field first, the Punjab bowlers did an exceptional job to restrict the powerful Delhi Daredevils batting line-up to a modest 120 for the loss of nine wickets.


With Punjab in a do-or-die situation, both Brett Lee and S. Sreesanth returned to their elements and rocked the top order of the Daredevils. Lee was the first to strike and he sent back the big fish Virender Sehwag (9), who has looked a tad out of sorts since coming back from injury.


Then a fantastic piece of work from the outfield from Wilkin Mota did Gambhir in. Gambhir went for a second which looked on, but a sensational throw over the top of the stumps found Gambhir inches short of the crease.


Post this Sreesanth made inroads into the Delhi batting getting both their most consistent batsmen of the tournament. First Ab De Villiers (11) and then Tillekratne Dilshan (10) were victims to the seamer. He moved the ball, got the bowl to bounce and never looked the same bowler who was being carted all across the park at an economy rate of more than 10 in the last four matches that the pacer had played.


Dinesh Karthik (32) and Mithun Manhas (26) then came together to stitch a 50-run partnership. They basically scored runs in ones and twos dropping the ball with soft hands and running. Though in the context of the game and the total they achieved this one was very important. Their stand was then also given a little bit of momentum when a Yuvraj Singh over yielded 14 runs including the first six of the Daredevils innings.


But once Manhas was dismissed, Daredevils fell apart. Wickets started to come in a heap and then a magical wicket-maiden seventeenth over by Lee shattered all hopes of a decent total for the Delhi outfit.


Lee had Maharoof doing all sorts of things to come anywhere closer to the ball, but unfortunately he reached nowhere in his pursuit and the last ball of the over found the furniture.


In the last 26 balls of their innings the Delhi side could muster only 19 runs losing six wickets.


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