Classy Jayawardene tames Kolkata
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 4th April 2010
Classy Mahela Jayawardene charmed his way to a century of exquisite quality as the much beleaguered Kings XI Punjab cornered Kolkata Knight Riders in their own den at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
Chasing an imposing 201 for win, the visitors won with plenty to spare. The eight-wicket win spoiled Kolkataís party and though Kings XI remained at the bottom of the table they had finally played to their potential. Jayawardeneís graceful century completely overshadowed a typically brutal knock from Gayle (88 from 42 balls) that pitchforked Kolkata to 200 for three in 20 overs. A lovely touch artist Mahela painted the Eden Gardens with deft strokes that manipulated the field and the bowlers. The shots werenít hit with brute power but the ball was cajoled to areas where there werenít any fielders and Jayawardene proved that there is still room for classy players in this format of the game. The only blemish in his knock was the chance he offered soon after completing his half-century. Murali Karthik must be ruing the missed opportunity when he dropped a sitter off Agarkar. Jayawardene changed gears and hit three boundaries off Agarkar. Jayawardene started off with two fours off Bondís opening over and never looked back. Jayawardene found an ideal partner in Sangakkara who didnít allow any bowler to settle down. He sashayed down the track to flay Angelo Mathews and the Hussey was treated with contempt. They added 98 runs for the second wicket in no time.
Bond came back to dismiss Sangakkara but only brought in more trouble in the form of Yuvraj Singh. Yuvrajappeared to be in a hurry and slog swept Murali Karthik for two sixes to announce his intentions. Agarkar was carted for a six and four by Yuvraj Singh as Punjab cruised home with lot to spare. The winning run was fittingly scored by Jayawardene who smacked a short ball from Unadkat for a boundary.
Earlier, Gayle exploded after being rendered strokeless by nagging length of Ramesh Powar. It was Ganguly who took majority of the strike and made most of the runs till Gayleís pyrotechnics. Ravi Bopara who had bowled two decent overs for 10 runs was taken to the cleaners by Gayle. His third over cost him 33 runs, the highest in the history of IPL, as Gayle smacked him four sixes. Bopara also gave away seven wides in that over.
Gayle had announced his intentions in the earlier over bowled by Chawla as he hit the last two balls for consecutive boundaries. In the leg-spinnerís next over, Gayle hit him for two sixes and survived a chance when he miscued a shot. The bowler dropped a sitter as that over went for 16 runs. But sanity was restored in the next over when Theron snared Gayle. However, Tiwary, Mathews and Hussey struck some lusty blows to enable their side cross 200.