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Manish Pandey guides KKR to second IPL title

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-06-2014 PTI

Bangalore: Manish Pandey played an absolute blinder as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) held their nerves to beat a spirited Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by three wickets in an exhilarating final to win the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.

This was the second IPL trophy for KKR, the only team apart from Chennai Super Kings to achieve the feat.

Needing 200 to win, Piyush Chawla hit the most important 13 runs of his life as he pulled Mitchell Johnson for a six off the last delivery of the penultimate over before slashing Parvinder Awana over point to run a victory lap as his teammates joined him.

If Wriddhiman Saha’s 115 off 55 balls was pure joy to watch, Pandey’s 94 off 50 balls was even better as he almost single-handedly won the match for the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise. The four sixes hit by Yusuf Pathan (36) were also important in the context of the match.

It was probably the most keenly contested among the seven IPL finals as the fortunes kept fluctuating.

Robin Uthappa (5) finally had an off-day as his uppish drive was smartly snapped by Akshar Patel at cover off a Mitchell Johnson delivery.

Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey hit a flurry boundaries as KKR reached 59 for one at the end of the powerplay.

The KKR skipper looked in good nick with 23 off 16 balls before leg spinner Karanveer Singh got him caught in the deep off David Miller as the left-hander tried to give the charge by dancing down the track.

Pandey hit the first six of the KKR innings by pelting Karanveer over extra-cover.

Pandey continued playing a free-flowing innings in company of Yusuf Pathan who hit a couple of big sixes over long-on and extra-cover off Karanveer. He followed with two huge sixes off Lakshmipathy Balaji.

Pathan’s innings ended when he tried to hit Karanveer for his fifth six, only to be caught by Glenn Maxwell at the boundary line. However, Pandey’s lusty blows had kept them in the game as they needed 58 off the last six overs.

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