David Miller © IANS
By Shiamak Unwalla
May 25, 2014
Manan Vohra and David Miller finished the match very quickly for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) against the Delhi Daredevils (DD) in match 55 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 7. The match was really set up by the all-round display of the KXIP bowlers, who made sure that the Daredevils never managed to get going.
Virender Sehwag and Manan Vohra, opening the innings for KXIP, got off to a good start. Sehwag hit two boundaries off Mohammad Shami’s first over, but was dismissed in Shami’s next over. Shami was bowling with pace and bounce, and got Sehwag to edge behind off a ball that just kept its line. New man Glenn “Glenndeep Singh” Maxwell attempted to hit a big shot early on in his innings, but ended up mis-hitting it to Kevin Pietersen at mid off. Jaydev Unadkat was the bowler.
However, that was the only reason Delhi had to celebrate. Manan Vohra, who scored just six off his first 12 balls, and David Miller went on to knock off the remaining runs without ever breaking a sweat. Miller hit Shami for the first six of the match in the latter’s third over, and followed up with a boundary off the last ball of that same over.
In the very next over, bowled by James Neesham, Vohra got back to his big-hitting best after sedate start. He hit two boundaries and a six off that over apart from getting four leg-byes. In a match where even eight and nine-run overs were hard to come by, that 18-run over was a lone spark to liven things up. Vohra and Miller managed to get a four or a six almost every over after that, to make the run chase a mere formality.
Vohra was dismissed with just four runs needed to win, bowled by an Imran Tahir googly. However, it was far too little far too late, as new man George Bailey and David Miller finished things off with no trouble at all. Miller finished the match by hitting Tahir for a six over midwicket to win the match in under 14 overs.
Earlier, Kevin Pietersen and Mayank Agarwal came out to open the innings for DD. Parvinder Awana started things off for Punjab in what was the first of a very good three-over spell. Perhaps as a ploy against Pietersen, Akshar Patel came on to bowl the second over of the innings. However, Pietersen showed that his perceived weakness against left-arm spin is a thing of the past by handling him quite well.
Mitchell Johnson drew first blood when he had Mayank Agarwal edge to Virender Sehwag at slip. However, Dinesh Karthink — batting at No 3 — looked in ominous form. He hit three boundaries in his first five balls to race away to 12 off five. But after playing some very attractive shots, he got a good ball from Parvinder Awana that was just short of a length, and a leading edge was taken easily by Akshar Patel. New man Kedar Jadhav, batting at a decent position for the first time, could not make the opportunity count, and holed out to Manan Vohra off the final ball of that same over. Awana had excellent figures of 3-1-15-2 at that point.
At the other end, Kevin Pietersen was looking solid and got to his first half-century of the season. The innings was equal parts scratchy and majestic, but it was undoubtedly the most vital one for the Daredevils. He was finally dismissed LWB by Rishi Dhawan for 58 off 41 balls. The rest of the line-up followed its usual trend of rolling over without a fight, as Delhi lost their last five wickets for just 24 runs. Eventually, Pietersen’s 58 accounted for over half the runs DD scored in total.
Earlier, Kevin Pietersen said at the toss that Delhi were looking to finish the campaign on a positive note. Punjab win the toss and elect to bowl, but Pietersen said that the Daredevils would have batted first anyway. Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, and Parwinder Awana came in for Punjab at the expense of Shaun Marsh, Beuran Hendricks and L Balaji, while Murali Vijay, Wayne Parnell and Siddharth Kaul missed out for Delhi.
Delhi Daredevils 115 (Kevin Pietersen 58; Karanveer Singh 2 for 22, Akshar Patel 2 for 28, Parvinder Awana 2 for 15, Mitchell Johnson 2 for 27) lose to Kings XI Punjab 119 for 3 (Manan Vohra 47, David Miller 47*; Jaydev Unadkat 1 for 3, Mohammad Shami 1 for 26) by seven wickets.
Man of the match: Manan Vohra
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(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)