Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kolkata gallop into 1st Time IPL final

PUNE: His bizarre antics can lastly be appended to a reason. Shahrukh Khan bounded about like a rabbit on speed, hugging his teammates on the field of play – Yes! He was allowed to enter the arena on this occasion – as his permit Kolkata Knight Riders strode into their 1st IPL final, after outplaying Delhi Daredevils by 18 runs in the ‘Qualifier 1’ on Tuesday night.
Spin-heavy Kolkata batted 1st, pulled themselves up to 162-4, thanks to Yusuf Pathan’s and Balaji Shukla late onslaught, and then stalled Delhi on 144-8 with their battery of bowlers – mainly the confounding mystery spinner Sunil Narine and expert seamer Jacques Kallis, both of whom had match figures of 4-0-24-2.Delhi has another chance of making the last when they play the winner of the Mumbai Indians-Chennai Super Kings eliminator.

In chase of a tricky target, Delhi suffered a massive hinder when David Warner was out to a horrible caught-behind decision off Shakib Al Hasan in the 2nd over of the chase. Virender Sehwag, back after sitting out with an illness, followed soon after, slashing a wide Balaji deliverance to the ‘keeper. With 2 of their most dangerous batsmen out, Delhi faced a mammoth task ahead, but were bring back in contention with a 59-run partnership between Mahela Jayewardene (40) and Naman Ojha (29).
The alliance ended when Ojha cut Rajat Bhatia directly to point, and the death knell was sound when Jayewardene charged Iqbal Abdullah only to be stumped – after a minor fumble – by Brendon McCollum. Delhi needed 54 runs in 5 overs at that stage and a cascade of wickets resulted as the batsmen went after the spinners. Really, the chase was never on after Ross Taylor was demoting to below Pawan Negi in the batting order. Earlier, KKR, safe in the information that they contained 3 spinners in their eleven, batted 1st on a pitch with more than reasonable turn and grip.
Delhi’s attack comprise three quicks and Gambhir took an immediate liking to them, provided his team a blistering start with a 16-ball 32.Gambhir began with a pulled maximum off Umesh Yadav and tore into Varun Aaron for 6 and 4 in the last over of the Power play. Failure struck in the same over when the Kolkata captain was run out. He thumps Varun to mid-off, and was late returning to the crease after having backed up too far. A straight hit from Venugopal Rao found Gambhir short of his ground, and the wicket pegged KKR back.

The next 10 overs yield just 58 runs as Brendon McCollum (31) and Jacques Kallis (32) struggled to go faster. Left-arm spinner Negi slipped in his overs for precious little and picked up the New Zealander with bright turn, as he sliced one high into the night sky and was taken smartly by Warner.In the next over, Shakib edged Irfan Pathan to the ‘keeper and soon after Kallis walked off when he pull Umesh down Taylor’s throat. The 3 fast wickets stalled KKR and they would have been in fall were it not for Yusuf and Laxmi Shukla.
Yusuf shrugged off his uncaring season to partner Shukla for 56 runs in just four overs. The burly right-hander cream Morkel for a straight 6and powered boundaries off Umesh. Shukla too chip in, lofting Morkel for four and implementation a savage pull for maximum gain against the same bowler.

The final over, bowled by Varun Aaron, was a run fest. Warner dropped Yusuf at long-on and conceded a six instead as the ball sailed over the ropes. Yusuf smack vicious cover drives off the very last 2 deliveries, both to the fence, taking the cost of the final over to 21. Kolkata ended with 162 – a massive total consider the nature of the wicket.

Man of the match
Yusuf Pathan

Today Match
Super Kings v Mum Indians (20:00 local | 14:30 GMT)
View My Stats