Kolkata Knight Riders, riding on opener Manvinder Bisla’s imperious 48-ball 89, clinched the Indian Premier League (IPL) title from defending champions Chennai Super Kings here at Chepauk last evening. A host of bigwigs from the world of cricket, Bollywood stars and also cricket officials from Pakistan witnessed history being made as Gautam Gambhir’s spirited outfit denied Super Kings their third consecutive IPL title.
Chasing a mammoth 191 in Chennai’ backyard, Bisla, Kolkata’s trusted wicketkeeper-batsman, wasn’t discouraged when skipper was bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus in the very first over of their run-chase. Bisla matched Chennai’s batting effort with a flurry of boundaries — eight fours and five sixes — until Albie Morkel had him caught at point, and ended his 136-run second-wicket stand with Jacques Kallis.
When Bisla fell, KKR were left with a relatively gettable task of 52 runs from 30 balls. Though Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Yusuf Pathan fell quickly, Kallis, battling a hamstring injury, held fort to take KKR closer to victory. The South African made a 49-ball 69 until Hilfenhaus removed him in the penultimate over. Needing nine off the last over, Shakib Al Hasan and Manoj Tiwary saw KKR home with two balls to spare.
Raina hits out
Earlier, Suresh Raina blasted KKR’s bowlers as he led Chennai to a commanding 190-3. On an easy-paced pitch, all the Chennai batsmen looked comfortable with Murali Vijay (42), Michael Hussey (54) and skipper MS Dhoni (14 not out off 9 balls) all contributing in an exceptional batting display.
Raina’s 73 off 38 balls merely increased the pressure on KKR after openers Vijay and Hussey had plundered 86 runs in 10 overs. Vijay fell in the 11th over to a diving catch on the square-leg fence by Shakib, giving Rajat Bhatia his only wicket.
But that brought Raina to the crease. The southpaw hander smashed five sixes, four of them over midwicket, and three fours as he added 73 for the second wicket with Hussey off just 41 deliveries and made his highest score in this year’s IPL.
Kallis removed Hussey in the 18th, but Raina batted on until the last ball, which he slog-swept off Shakib, and a running Brett Lee took a diving catch. The wicket was just reward for Shakib, who conceded just eight runs in the final over. But Sunil Narine and Lee were less successful, conceding 37 and 42 respectively in their four overs.
Chennai Super Kings: M Hussey b Kallis 54, M Vijay c Shakib Al Hasan b Bhatia 42, S Raina c Lee b Shakib Al Hasan 73, MS Dhoni not out 14 Extras: (LB-3, W-2, NB-2) 7 Total: (For 3 wickets in 20 overs) 190 Fall of wickets: 1-87, 2-160, 3-190. Bowling: B Lee 4-0-42-0, Shakib Al Hasan 3-0-25-1, SP Narine 4-0-37-0, Iqbal Abdulla 1-0-9-0, JH Kallis 4-0-34-1, R Bhatia 3-0-23-1, YK Pathan 1-0-17-0.
Kolkata Knight Riders (Target 191): : M Bisla c Badrinath b Morkel 89, G Gambhir b Hilfenhaus 2, J Kallis c Jadeja b Hilfenhaus 69, L Shukla c Hussey b Bravo 3, Y Pathan c Badrinath b Ashwin 1, Shakib Al Hasan not out 11, M Tiwary not out 9 Extras: (LB-1, W-6, NB-1) 8. Total: (for five wickets in 19.4 overs) 192. Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-139, 3-152, 4-164, 5-175. Bowling: B Hilfenhaus 4-0-25-2, A Morkel 4-0-38-1, R Ashwin 4-0-41-1, D Bravo 3.4-0-49-1, S Jakati 4-0-38-0