Local boy Manish Pandey scored a brilliant 94 off just 50 balls to lead Kolkata Knight Riders to its second IPL title win after Shah Rukh Khan owned team won by a narrow three wicekts against King’s XI Punjab in the IPL-7 final played at M Chinnaswamy stadium here today.
Needing a stiff 200 to win the coveted trophy, Pandey led the side commendably hitting 7 fours and 6 sixes in his whirlwind innings, while Yusuf Pathan kept the side in hunt hitting a 22-ball 36.
Earlier, keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha hit a hurricane 115 off just 55 balls but the great effort went in vein as the KKR batsmen made good the stiff target on a perfect T-20 wicket in Bangalore, after the title clash was shifted from Chennai.
Needing just five runs off the last over, small made Piyush Chawla, who was most successful KKR bowler claiming two wickets earlier, hit Parvinder Awana over the cover to the ropes to raise the victory. He ran all over the ground in jubilation before being pounced by persuing team mates.
It was heartbreak for George Bailey-led KXIP after it made a strong bid at the title with impressive wins by topping the eight-team table earlier on and stormed to the finals with some brilliant batting performances by Glenn Maxwell and David Miller.
But it was unsung hero Wriddhiman Saha, who struck a hurricane 115 off just 55 balls today for Punjab, but his effort that comes in the wake of he chosen for Bangladesh tour went in vein as Pandey 94 (50b, 6×6, 6×4) guided his side with a brilliant innings that he saved for the title clash. Earlier in the tournament he had shown his intent, but the ultimate showpiece was showcased today.
But it was the dominating effort by Pandey, who struck seven boundaries and six sixes to emerge as the man of the match, that stole the thunder from the Priety Zinta owned side. Earlier, put in to bat first, Kings XI Punjab were powered to 199 by Wridhiman Saha’s breathtaking hundred. The opening pair of Sehwag and Manan Vohra made a positive start scoring 9 off first over. The first 5 balls of the 2nd over bowled by Umesh Yadav could only fetch two runs for KXIP. But Vohra hit a boundary on the final ball of the second over to keep KXIP run-rate above 7 run/over.