In what was a thrilling final, Kolkata Knight Riders clinched the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 in a humdinger against Kings XI Punjab at Bangalore. After Wriddhiman Saha’s brilliant 115 not out took Kolkata to 199, it was down to Manish Pandey’s match winning 94 that helped KKR to their second IPL title in three years.
Kolkata started their innings in poor fashion as they lost IPL 7 highest run scorer in the very first over. However, Pandey essayed a brilliant knock and kept Kolkata in the hunt. Smashing the bowlers majorly through the leg-side, Pandey ensured the required rate did not go above board. He was also helped by Yusuf Pathan’s cameo as he smashed 36 off 22. Pathan smashed a few sixes in his trademark style.
Pandey hit a flurry boundaries as KKR reached 59 for 1 at the end of the Powerplay. Then Gautam Gambhir, who was looking in good nick with 23 off 16 balls fell to young leggie Karanveer Singh. Pandey in the meantime got the first six off the KKR innings hitting Karanveer over extra-cover.
Pandey continued playing a freeflowing innings in company of Yusuf Pathan who hit a couple of big sixes over long on and extra cover off Karanveer. He followed with two huge sixes off Lakshmipathy Balaji.
An interesting aspect of Pandey’s innings was the way he attacked after the fall of a wicket. On two occasions, he hit a six off the next ball after a wicket fell. With four overs to go, it was still in the balance with Kolkata needing 39.
Pandey smashed a six first ball and then Ryan ten Doeschate fell soon after. But then Pandey smashed a six again to move to ninety. There was another four before Pandey got a leading edge and was caught for 94 at extra cover off Karanveer.
It is an innings which Kolkata Knight Riders fans will remember for long long time. This frenetic chase put in the shadow the excellent work from Saha, which he did earlier in the day.