Sehwag Ton Puts Kings XI Through
Kings XI Punjab 226-6 (Sehwag 122) beat
Chennai Super Kings 202-7 by 24 runs
Indian Premier League 2014 Qualifier 2, Mumbai
Virender Sehwag rolled back the years to score his second Indian Premier League century and help put the Kings XI Punjab into the 2014 final with a 24-run win over the Chennai Super Kings.
Sehwag struck 122 in 58 balls as the Kings XI piled on the runs before closing on 226 for six in their 20 overs.
And although Chennai made a blazing start, Suresh Raina scoring 87 in 25 deliveries, they were unable to keep up the pace and closed on 202 for seven.
After a horrendous start with the ball, Punjab backed up Sehwag's effort with a good performance with the ball and in the field.
George Bailey's brilliant turn and throw to run out Raina proved to be a pivotal moment and Punjab capitalised to book their place in Sunday's final against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The last time Chennai did not reach the final was back in 2009 - the last time IPL matches were played outside of India.
Kings XI have made it to the final for the first time.
Put in to bat by Chennai, Kings XI were given a good start as Sehwag served notice of his intentions with two early boundaries through the off-side.
What followed was a 21-ball half-century and a 50-ball century of the highest class. Powerful sixes down the ground were mixed with deft deflections backward of square and pinpoint accurate drives that pierced the fielders.
He and Manan Vohra (34 in 31 balls) added 110 for the first wicket and although Glenn Maxwell (13) failed to fire, more support came from David Miller.
The left-hander crunched five fours and a six in making 38 in 19 balls as he and Sehwag put on 63 for the third wicket until Sehwag was caught by Faf du Plessis off Ashish Nehra in the deep.
Nehra then bowled Bailey for one, Miller was run out by MS Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha fell for six but Punjab had, for the third time in the tournament, passed the 200-run mark against Chennai, but this time they had surpassed it by a long way.
Nehra finished with two for 51, Ishwar Pandey one for 35, Mohit Sharma one for 46 and Ravichandran Ashwin one for 44 - his one success being to see off Maxwell.
However, as Chennai reached 100 in just six overs - a Twenty20 record - Punjab's score of 226 looked under threat.
Du Plessis fell for a golden duck when he was caught Bailey off Johnson but that brought Raina to the crease and he proceeded to tuck into the Punjab bowling.
20 runs came from the fourth over, 11 from the fifth and then 33 from the sixth, bowled by Parvinder Awana.
And Raina struck the ball as cleanly and accurately as Sehwag had earlier on his way to a 16-ball half-century.
He had hit 12 fours and six sixes in 25 balls when, immediately after the Power Play and a strategic time-out called by Punjab, a moment's hesitation in the running between him and Brendon McCullum ended his knock.
McCullum pushed the ball to Bailey's left, the Chennai pair stuttered as they tried to complete a tight single and although Bailey had to pick the ball up, turn round and make a direct hit, he managed it: nothing else would have been enough to see off Raina.
Dwayne Smith (7) had already departed, bowled by Sandeep Sharma and although McCullum (11), Ravindra Jadeja (27) and Dhoni (42 not out) did their best to keep scoring quickly, the task was beyond them.
From 100 for two after six overs, Chennai were just 140 for five after 12.1 overs as Punjab pulled things back exceptionally.
They were even able to prosper despite Mitchell Johnson bowling Dhoni with a huge no ball and although the Chennai and India captain struck three huge sixes late on, coming in at number seven, he had left himself far too much to do.
Awana recovered somewhat, dismissing Jadeja and David Hussey (1) to pick up two for 59, Johnson, who bowled one nine-ball over, claimed one for 44, Sharma one for 32 which represented a fine comeback after bearing the brunt of Raina's brilliance and Akshar Patel one for 23.
© Cricket World 2014