Kings XI Punjab 186-3 (Miller 80no) beat
Pune Warriors 185-4 (Finch 64) by 7 wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Mohali
Report by Chetan Narula
In a game of high hitting, Kings XI Punjab beat Pune Warriors by seven wickets at Mohali. This win lifts Kings XI to fifth in the table, just above Mumbai Indians, both teams having six points from six games. Pune Warriors are second from last, with four points from seven games, and now will have to watch their backs as Delhi Daredevils got off the mark earlier in the day.
Adam Gilchrist won the toss and put Pune Warriors in to bat first. The move backfired quite a bit, as they got off to a spectacular start given by stand-in captain Aaron Finch. He scored 64 runs off 42 balls, hitting eight fours and two sixes, and along with Robin Uthappa put on 83 runs for the first wicket. The runs came off just 63 balls as Uthappa too got into the act for once, scoring 37 runs off 33 balls. He hit four fours.
Uthappa was out in the 11th over and then Finch added another 41 runs with Yuvraj Singh. The skipper was finally out in the 16th over, putting Pune well on the road to a tall total. Yuvraj too got into the act, making 34 runs off 24 balls, with three fours. But it was Luke Wright’s hard hitting at the death that saw Pune cross the 180-run mark. The Englishman smacked 34 runs off just 10 balls, with six fours and one six, as Pune Warriors finished at 185 for four in twenty overs. Steve Smith (6) and Abhishek Nayar (2) were unbeaten at the crease, while Azhar Mahmood (2-42), Parvinder Awana (1-38) and MS Gony (1-32) were the wicket-takers.
Chasing 186 for victory, Kings XI got off to the worst start possible, with Adam Gilchrist (4) and Azhar Mahmood (0) gone with just five runs on the board. Gilchrist’s young opening partner Mandeep Singh then put on 53 runs for the third wicket with Manan Vohra, slowly crawling out of the hole they had dug for themselves. Vohra scored 22 runs off 13 balls and then was bowled by Yuvraj Singh (1-15). This was the turning point of the match, as David Miller came to the crease.
While Mandeep Singh held one end together, Miller went on a rampage as both batsmen stole the match from Pune’s grasp, despite a tall asking order. Mandeep completed his fifty off 39 balls and stayed unbeaten at the end on 77 runs off 58 balls, inclusive of seven fours. But the hero of the day was Miller who stroked his way to a half-century off just 29 balls, in all amassing 80 runs off 41 balls. He hit five fours and five sixes, two of them in the last over bowled by Luke Wright.
16 runs were needed off just six balls and Kings XI won with one ball to spare, as Miller achieved the impossible and Wright went from hero to zero in the space of 21 overs.
© Cricket World 2013
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