IPL 2012: Kings XI Punjab post despite Sunil Narine's hat-trick

Sunil Narine claimed the first hat-trick of the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 © PTI

By Devarchit Varma

Mohali: Apr 16, 2013

Sunil Narine claimed the first hat-trick of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 but Kings XI Punjab fought their way back to post a daunting total of 157 for nine against Kolkata Knight Riders at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday.

It was laregly due to an attacking innings of tail-ender batsman Manpreet Gony — who slammed three sixes and four boundaries to reach 42 off just 18 balls. Punjab went past the 150-run mark after being reduced to 99 for six as Narine claimed three wickets in as many balls.

After being asked to bat first, Kings XI Punjab started off on a cautious note. They reached seven for no loss after two overs, and it was in the third over of Lakshmipathy Balaji that a few runs came.

Adam Gilchrist slapped the ball for a boundary towards mid-on, and Mandeep Singh followed it with two consecutive hits to the fence to mark a good beginning for the hosts.

However, Kings XI Punjab captain Gilchrist’s poor run in the tournament continued as he was back in the hut once again with a score in single digits to his name. The left-handed opener was trapped in front by Kolkata spinner Sachithra Senanayake for seven in the fourth over of the innings.

After the early dismissal of Gilchrist, Punjab’s young batsmen Manan Vohra and Mandeep joined forces to take their side ahead. In their previous clash against Rajasthan, Kings XI suffered because of lack of partnerships at the top of the order, but it wasn’t the case on Tuesday.

Manan and Mandeep batted cautiously to bail their side out of trouble, and added 37 runs for the second wicket in 29 balls to lead Punjab’s recovery.

The pair kept picking boundaries every over and rotated the strike with ease, and it looked like they could set a platform for a huge first innings total with their solid stand.

However, Balaji had other plans. He bowled a short delivery to Manan, who danced down the track to whip it towards the midwicket area, but the ball took a top edge and Balaji took a simple catch to send the Punjab batsman packing.

Mandeep was joined by the experienced and in-form David Hussey, and Punjab would have expected a big partnership with the two right-handers. But their hopes crashed on the first ball of the 10th over, when Mandeep came down the track only to nick the ball while attempting a big heave, and it was a simple catch to wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla.

A visibly disappointed Mandeep didn’t wait for umpire’s verdict and drudged back to the pavilion after having scored a fluent 41 from 30 balls, which was studded with six boundaries.

Kolkata Knight Riders clawed their way back with the wickets of Manan and Mandeep in quick succession, and didn’t allow the new batsmen David Hussey and David Miller to get away easily.

David Hussey and Miller took a couple of overs to settle in. Miller struck his first boundary in the 14th over of the innings towards the midwicket with a powerful hit.

Then came Sunil Narine for his second over of the game and there was a surprise package. The star spinner claimed a hat-trick to leave Punjab reeling.

Narine first claimed the big wicket of David Hussey, who scored 12 during his stay at the crease. The veteran batsman came forward to cut, but the ball bounced more than expected and took a thick edge and Bisla took an easy catch on the fourth ball of the over.

Azhar Mahmood tried to caress the fifth ball towards midwicket, but the ball took a leading edge and Narine did the rest. Punjab were reeling at 99 for five.

Kolkata skipper Gambhir brought fielders in close to the new man Gurkeerat Singh — a field which is usually seen in Test cricket. But all that wasn’t needed as Narine cleaned up the Punjab batsman on the last ball of the over to register his hat-trick.

Punjab thus slipped from 99 for three to 99 for six in the 15th over.

The hosts had bolstered their batting firepower with the inclusion of South African David Miller in place of pacer Ryan Harris, but the left-handed batsman didn’t enjoy success with the bat as he was bowled by Senanayake in the next over for 20.

Towards the end, Gony played a rapid 18-ball 42 which powered the hosts to a competitive first innings total. The Punjab batsmen clobbered as many as 23 runs off Narine’s last over of the game.

All-rounder Jacques Kallis returned with the figures of 4-0-24-3 while Narine claimed 3 for 33 off his four overs.

Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 157 for 9 in 20 overs (Manpreet Gony 42, Mandeep Singh 41; Jacques Kallis 3 for 24, Sunil Narine 3 for 33) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.

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(Devarchit Varma is a cricket fanatic who finds nothing more exciting to do than to write, watch or talk about the sport. Having played the game at club and college level, he now pursues his passion as a scribe)