KKR opt to bowl against KXIP in the IPL final at Chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore; Balaji in for Sandeep Sharma.
Wriddhiman Saha played a career defining innings as his magnificent century propelled kings XI Punjab to a competitive 199 for four against Kolkata Knight Riders in the final of the Indian Premier League, in Bangalore on Sunday.
Saha walked into the record books by being the first ever player to score a century in the IPL final as his unbeaten 115 off 55 balls had 10 fours and eight sixes.
Saha and Vohra were swift yet brutal in their shot—making as they added a whopping 129 off 12 overs after Kings XI Punjab looked in a spot at 58 for two after the front 10.
The back-10 got them as many as 141 runs thanks to the brilliant counter-attack by the Bengal stumper.
Vohra, a surprise retention at the start of the season scored 67 off 52 balls with six fours and two sixes. He was lucky on 62 as Robin Uthappa collected the ball in-front of the stumps while trying to stump him. But he was out trying to slog Chawla.
The day belonged to Saha, who was in a mood to punish the spinners but played some equally good shot against the pacers including a hook shot off Morne Morkel.
Sunil Narine, who decided to give Test cricket a miss was esepcially clobbered for 46 runs in his four overs.
Saha completed his century off 49 balls hitting Narine over long-on for a six which Suryakumar yadav nearly got his hand.
The fans, who were expecting another swashbuckling innings from Virender Sehwag (7) were left disappointed as the veteran didn’t execute the pull-shot off a well-directed bouncer from Umesh. The resultant skier was taken by Gautam Gambhir standing at mid-off.
Then there was a battle of wits between the skipper which Gautam Gambhir won hands down. Rival skipper George Bailey promoted himself up the order which prompted Gambhir to bring in Narine. The first delivery was a big off-break as Bailey tried to play an ugly paddle shot shuffling across the line.
He missed it and the leg-stump was uprooted.
Vohra on the otherhand slog-swept Piyush Chawla over depe mid-wicket for a six while Saha also got into the groove with some singles.
KKR initially bowled a tight line and the slowness of the pitch helped them before Saha cut loose.
The first 10 overs yielded only 58 runs. Saha chanced his arms as he hit three sixes in a space of two overs. Shakib was hit over mid-wicket while Chawla was lofted twice over long-off as they completed a 50-run partnership.
Saha was the first one to reach 50 as he launched into Narine pulling him for a six and a four before a lucky lemon cut got him to his 50 off 20 balls.
Vohra, the slower of the two, then completed Narine’s miseries by hitting him towards deep mid-wicket for another boundary to complete his 50 off 42 balls.
The 14th over of the innings yielded 19 runs and KXIP innings finally had some momentum.
Kings XI Punjab: Virender Sehwag c Gambhir b U Yadav 7; Manan Vohra c & b Chawla 67; George Bailey b Narine 1; Wriddhiman Saha not out 115; Glenn Maxwell c Morkel b Chawla 0; David Miller not out 1; Extras: (LB-4, W-3, NB-1) 8
Total: (for 4 wickets in 20 overs) 199
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-30, 3-159, 4-170
Bowling: Morkel 4-0-40-0, Umesh Yadav 4-0-39-1, Narine 4-0-46-1, Shakib 4-0-26-0, Chawla 4-0-44-2.