Bisla, Kallis star in thrilling final victory in the last over
Kolkata Knight Riders almost botched a spirited counter-assault before knocking over defending champion Chennai Super Kings by five wickets with two balls to spare in a pulse-pounding finish to the IPL final at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.
The Kolkata side put paid to Chennai's ambitions of a hat-trick of IPL titles and embossed its name on the trophy for the first time in five years. With nine runs required in the last over, Manoj Tiwary rose to the occasion, scoring two timely boundaries.
Manvinder Bisla (89, 48b, 8x4, 5x6) was the surprise package for the visitor as he was well on course to masterminding a clinical pursuit of 191. KKR showed no signs of panic after losing captain and in-form batsman Gautam Gambhir in the first over. Chennai, on the other hand, was dazed by the 136-run alliance between Bisla and Jacques Kallis (69, 49b, 7x4, 1x6).
But Bisla's dismissal triggered panic that was accentuated after Kallis holed out to deep cover. The South African fell in the quest for quick runs after Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Yusuf Pathan departed in a hurry.
Shakib al Hasan and Tiwary, however, ensured that there was to be no further hiccup.
Earlier, the home team put together a wholesome batting performance with Suresh Raina (73, 38b, 3x4, 5x6) and birthday boy Michael Hussey (54, 43b, 4x4, 2x6) starring in lead roles.
On a docile track, Hussey and Vijay and then Hussey and Raina bullied Kolkata's bowling. The latter's strong suit — its spin department — wasn't at its best either. The mystery spinner Sunil Narine was unravelled by a belligerent Raina.
In the end, Kolkata's steely resolve ensured that a tall score was overwhelmed, notwithstanding a few jolts.