Kolkata Knight Riders 200-7 (Pandey 94) beat
Kings XI Punjab 199-4 (Saha 115no) by 3 wickets
Indian Premier League 2014 Final, Bangalore
The Kolkata Knight Riders won their second Indian Premier League title in three years, coming out on top of a thrilling 2014 final against the Kings XI Punjab in Bangalore.
Piyush Chawla hit Parvinder Awana for four in the final over to seal a three-wicket win with three balls remaining.
It meant Punjab had been beaten in a high-scoring game despite Wriddhiman Saha's brilliant unbeaten 115 that had steered them to a score of 199 for four.
However, Manish Pandey struck 94 in 50 balls for Kolkata before the lower order finished off the job to make sure their ninth in a row carried them to their second title.
Chasing a massive 200 to lift the trophy again, Kolkata made a disappointing start when Orange Cap winner Robin Uthappa (5) holed out in the first over itself.
But 10 runs came from that opening over nevertheless and it set the tempo for the innings. Skipper Gautam Gambhir and youngster Pandey took them past the 50-run mark in the seventh over.
Gambhir scored 23 runs off 17 balls, with three fours, and then was spinner Karanveer Singh’s (4-54) first victim of the night.
But try as he did, he couldn’t stop the Kolkata batsmen from building momentum, especially Pandey and Yusuf Pathan who piled the pressure back on Punjab with a 71-run partnership for the third wicket.
The 100-run mark came in the 11th over as Pandey scored 50 off only 31 balls, including five fours and two sixes, while Pathan hit 36 off 22 balls, with four monster sixes.
The match could have ended sooner had they continued, but Pathan was caught in the deep off the young spinner. And it opened the gates for a little while as Shakib Al Hasan (12), Ryan ten Doeshcate (4) and Suryakumar Yadav (5) fell in quick succession.
Pandey carried on though and hit a sparkling 94 off 50 balls, with seven fours and six sixes, falling just on the edge of victory. There were some tense moments in the end, but Chawla (13 not out) released pressure by getting an important six off Mitchell Johnson (2-41).
He then carried them over the finish line with a calm boundary as Kolkata became champions again with three balls to spare. Sunil Narine (2 not out) was the unbeaten batsman.
Earlier, Kolkata won the toss and elected to field first, and the gamble paid off as last match’s centurion Virender Sehwag (7) was dismissed cheaply.
To everyone’s surprise Glenn Maxwell didn’t come out to bat and instead it was skipper George Bailey. But this move didn’t work out as he was bowled by Narine for just one run and Punjab found themselves in trouble at 30 for two in the sixth over.
From there, two young batsmen who have made their names for Punjab this year took over and steadied the rocking ship. Vohra and Saha put on 129 runs for the third wicket and nearly took the match away from Kolkata.
They started slowly, bringing up the 50-run mark in the eighth over and then sped away to the 100-run mark in only the next six overs.
In doing so, they brought up their respective half-centuries, with Vohra reaching the mark off 42 balls with four fours and one six while Saha got it off only 29 balls, hitting three fours and four sixes.
They weren’t done yet and raced to the 150-run mark just four overs later, bringing up their 100-run partnership off only 59 balls.
Vohra was finally out in the 18th over, scoring 67 runs off 52 balls, with six fours and two sixes. Maxwell (0), held back so far, was out for a first-ball duck, but Saha just carried on without any hiccups.
The last 26 balls he faced fetched him 65 runs, as he hit the first ever century in an IPL final. He was unbeaten on 115 off 55 balls, with ten fours and eight sixes. David Miller (1 not out) was the other unbeaten batsman.
Chawla (2-44), Narine (1-46) and Umesh Yadav (1-39) were the wicket-takers for Kolkata.
© Cricket World 2014