IPL recap: When Pandey trumped Saha's ton to take KKR home

George Bailey-led KXIP did everything right on the day of the final, but it was not enough to stop KKR from stealing a thrilling three-wicket win.

Wriddhiman Saha made a brilliant unbeaten century but his knock went in vain.   -  AKHILESH KUMAR

With two IPL titles, Kolkata Knight Riders is the third most successful team after Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. However, there have been teams in the league's history to have missed out despite having a great run till the final.

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Kings XI Punjab was one such side in 2014. George Bailey-led team did everything right on the day of the final, but it was not enough to stop Kolkata from stealing a thrilling three-wicket win.

If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, both teams would have met for the first time in IPL 2020 on Thursday. Time to revisit that exciting final of the seventh edition of the IPL.

Saha classic

After put in to bat, Punjab needed a push after being 58 for 2 in the first 10 overs. Wriddhiman Saha and Manan Vohra rose to the occasion and launched a counter-attack. Saha scored an unbeaten 115 off 55 balls, which included 10 fours and eight sixes, while Vohra contributed with a fluent 52-ball 67.

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Saha got to his century off 49 balls, and in the process became the first player to score a hundred in an IPL final. Punjab fetched 141 runs in the final 10 overs as it reached an imposing total of 199 for 4.

Pandey's show

The in-form Robin Uthappa (5) was removed early but Manish Pandey and skipper Gautam Gambhir kept attacking as Kolkata reached 59/1 at the end of Powerplay, in chase of 200.

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Gambhir, who looked in great touch fell to legspinner Karanveer Singh on 23. Pandey at the other end never looked in any problem and in the company of Yusuf Pathan kept the run-chase going.

After hitting four big sixes, Pathan's knock was ended by Karanveer on 36 while going for the big hit.

Piyush Chawla sprints off after hitting the winning runs.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

 

Pandey looked on a mission that evening before getting out to Karanveer on 94 off 50 balls. But by then the match has been nicely set up and what it needed was a perfect finishing act.

Chawla's finishing touch

With Pandey back in the hut, Kolkata needed someone to take them over the line, with 15 needed off the last two overs. Piyush Chawla did it in style by hitting a six off Mitchell Johnson -- the last delivery of the 19th over.

He sealed the game for Kolkata by hitting a boundary off Parvinder Awana and then breaking into a victory lap to be joined by his elated team-mates.

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