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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Jun 1, 2014
Wriddhiman Saha’s brilliant ton took Kings XI Punjab to 199 for four in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 final against Kolkata Knight Riders at Bangalore. Saha’s ton made up for a slow start and then helped Punjab setup a target of 200 for Kolkata. What is surprising is that in the total of 199, David Miller and Glenn Maxwell scored only one run between them.
Kolkata backed their strength when they won the toss and chose to bowl first. They came into this game unchanged, whereas Punjab brought back Lakshmipathy Balaji for Sandeep Sharma.
Punjab made a few interesting changes to their batting order. George Bailey came in at No 3 and Saha was placed at No 4. It was intriguing because they pushed David Miller and Glenn Maxwell down the order. While Bailey was bowled for a single in the fifth over, the move to keep Saha at No 4 worked wonders for them.
At 32 for two in six overs, having lost Virender Sehwag and Bailey early, Punjab looked in trouble and Kolkata had the upper hand. Vohra and Saha were slow to start with and many felt they had made the mistake of keeping Maxwell and Miller for later. In ten overs, they were 58 for two.
However, that is when the carnage started as they smashed 101 in the next seven overs. Saha started charging at the spinners. He was using his feet to the spinners and clearing the small boundaries with ease. Even when Sunil Narine came on in the 14th over, he was smashed for 19 runs. The ball was disappearing to all parts and even Vohra joined the party. Things started looking good for Punjab all of a sudden with both batsmen getting their half-centuries.
Saha was batting on a different plane as he found the gaps to perfection. Kolkata then helped him as Narine dropped a chance which went high in the air off his own bowling. Vohra too got away with a stumping chance as Robbin Uthappa collected the ball in front of the stumps and it was considered a no-ball. Vohra did smash his way a touch but was ultimately dismissed for 67.
However, Saha only continued to smash it around. Maxwell came out to bat and he was dismissed first ball when he tried to reverse sweep for to short third-man. Saha then got to his ton in fine fashion. He moved into the 90s with a six off Narine in the penultimate over and then he smashed a four to get to 98. Saha got to his ton with a six over long-on to get it off 49 balls. In the last 10 overs, Punjab smashed 141 runs.
Kings XI Punjab 199 for 4 in 20 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 115*, Manan Vohra 67; Piyush Chawla 2 for 44) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.
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