Punjab send Kolkata to depths of despair
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab
Player:BJ Hodge, DPMD Jayawardene, SM Katich, S Sohal
Event:Indian Premier League 2009

DateLine: 3rd May 2009


Four dropped catches in the first few overs saw Kings XI Punjab scrape through to 154 off the last ball of their innings, in the process, inflicting another defeat on Kolkata Knight Riders. This win takes Kings XI Punjab to the second slot on the points table.


The Punjab team needed 18 to win off the last two overs with Irfan Pathan and Mahela Jayawardene in the middle, but a couple of rank bad deliveries by Ishant Sharma in the penultimate over made the task very easy as the batting side then needed only seven to win off the last over.


Just seeing the way Ajit Agarkar bowled the last over, the match could have been much more tighter had he got more runs to bowl at.


Chasing a target of 154, Kings XI Punjab lost Kumar Sangakkara in the very first over for a duck but they did not let it hamper their run-chase as Sunny Sohal (25) and Simon Katich (34) quickly got into the repair act. Both of them having been dropped very early in their innings.


After these two got out, Mahela Jayawardene (52) and captain Yuvraj Singh (14) took over from where they has left. The duo adopted a cautious policy and then slowly but steadily started working towards taking their team closer to the victory target.


KKR did get a little glimpse of hope when Ishant Sharma claimed the wicket of captain Yuvraj Singh. He had him caught at the deep cover boundary where Brad Hodge took a simple one.


But after his dismissal, Jayawardene and Irfan Pathan made sure there were no further hiccups and the team went through the process of finishing the match in a composed manner. Though the pair could finish the game in the last ball, it must be said that the Punjab side outplayed Kolkata almost throughout the chase.


McCullum though would be very disappointed with his bowlers as 153 on that slow surface was looking more than competitive, but every time the Punjab side needed, there were a couple of boundary balls to relieve the pressure.


Earlier, batting first after winning the toss, Kolkata Knight Riders compiled a decent looking 153 off their twenty overs, courtesy a second consecutive half century by Brad Hodge (70).


KKR openers Chris Gayle (17) and Brendon McCullum (19) got the team off to a slow start. After a cautious beginning, Chris Gayle started to come into his own. Playing his last game of the tournament, the burly opener hit a couple of boundaries off Irfan Pathan. He was looking dangerous but just then Yusuf Abdulla struck and got the Kings XI Punjab their first breakthrough sending the Windies skipper back.


Thereafter, Brad Hodge (70) and McCullum moved at snail's speed and managed to score only fifty odd runs in 10 overs. McCullum especially, was moving at ultra slow pace. He was looking totally out of touch and it must be said that captaincy has taken a toll on the flamboyant New Zealand wicketkeeper.


When McCullum got out, the Knight Riders were in real trouble. However, Hodge and Sourav Ganguly increased the momentum a tad bit and managed to hit a few big ones to take the team's total past the three figure mark in the 16th over. Ganguly (22) holed out to Sangakkara off the bowling of Piyush Chawla trying to heave him over the boundary.


Hodge though had his plans set all along. He opened up in the last couple of overs and alongside Morne van Wyk (18) added 48 runs in the last four overs. Irfan Pathan came under some serious hammering with his last over costing him and his side 21 runs that included three boundaries and a last ball six from the willow of van Wyk.


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