Punjab v Pune, IPL 2013, Mohali April 21, 2013

Miller, Mandeep pull off thrilling win for Kings XI


Kings XI Punjab 186 for 3 (Miller 80*, Mandeep 77*) beat Pune Warriors 185 for 4 (Finch 64) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Luke Wright went from hero to villain in the space of 100 minutes. His cameo of 34 off 10 balls helped Pune Warriors post 185, but in the face of an assault from David Miller and sensible support from Mandeep Singh, Wright blinked and failed to defend 15 in the last over. Miller finished it off with two lethal sixes, but don't forget how Mandeep kept running back to the danger end to keep Miller on strike.

Both stayed unbeaten, Miller on 80 off 41 and Mandeep on 77 off 58. Mandeep's was the first fifty for any Kings XI Punjab batsman this IPL.

The fielding all around was poor, but the batting and bowling towards the end were high quality under pressure, in sharp contrast to some of the inexplicable thrillers earlier in the tournament. Despite a patchy appearance, this was a true surface where the ball came on, and it made for good stroke-play. Both Mandeep and Miller needed that in abundance after Kings XI had been 5 for 2 in the chase of 186, a result of shoddy fielding and bowling from Kings XI.

Adam Gilchrist dropped a sitter from Warriors' third captain of the season, Aaron Finch, and saw him add 63 more off 38. Misfields from Kings XI punctuated the rest of the innings, and they added length bowling in the end to their list of mistakes. First Yuvraj Singh, and then, sensationally, Wright took full toll of that. Wright hit the first six balls he faced for fours. Five of them were poorly pitched, and the sixth, a yorker, poorly fielded.

Gilchrist's horror day continued when he edged a cut in the first over. Ajantha Mendis, another one of Warriors' inclusions, worked immediately as he got an lbw verdict against Azhar Mahmood with the first ball he bowled. However, Mandeep and Manan Vohra, two of the Kings XI's young Indian batsmen, started brightly, and the way they timed the ball, you knew it wasn't going to be a stroll for Warriors.

Yuvraj came on to break that partnership, and Miller walked in with close to 10 an over required for a duration of more than 13 overs. They did it the difficult way. No six sixes or six fours, but through a boundary every over, and some hard running between the wickets. Seven continuous overs starting with the 10th had least a boundary; only one of them went for two. The turnaround began with Miller hitting Yuvraj over long-on in the 10th over, and was at its most destructive when Miller hit Yuvraj's replacement, Mendis, for six and four in the 12th.

That boundary streak ended in the 17th over when Ashok Dinda nearly got six yorkers in. After only eight runs - that too thanks to the running - came off it, the asking rate finally crossed 12. With 37 required, Finch took the risk, and asked Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bowl his last over. Bhuvneshwar responded superbly. He did almost everything right, followed the batsmen when they moved in the crease, got the yorkers in, kept it down to just four off the first five balls.

Then misfortune struck. Mandeep edged the last ball through third man for four. Still, the last two overs had swung the game in Warriors' favour, and 29 were required off the last two. Mandeep was tiring, and had lost all his timing. It was going to be down to Miller now. The pressure was high, and the bowling had been good. Just then, though, Dinda missed his yorker twice in a row, and Miller took that small window of opportunity and placed both the full tosses for fours.

Dinda came back well, but let himself down by not collecting a throw that would have run Miller out by a long distance. It was still Warriors' game to lose with 18 required off seven balls. And how they lost it.

Dinda finished his over off well, but a misfield from Rahul Sharma at third man not only allowed Kings XI a bonus run, but kept Miller on strike for the start of the final over. All his cards played out, Finch had to go back to Wright, who got away with a short ball first up, and bowled a good yorker to follow. Fourteen off four.

The field was now set for the wide yorker, but Wright got it wrong. He bowled a full bunger in Miller's swinging range, and once again Miller took that opportunity with a six over long-off. Wright came back with a low full toss, which Miller couldn't get under. Single. Think again. Mandeep turned that certain one into two, and snatched away whatever little advantage the bowling side might have had.

With six required off two, Wright needed to get Miller off strike, but he bowled another full toss, which Miller send crashing over long-off again.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harsh on April 24, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    One of the best and most organized run chases I have seen in I.P.L.Punjab kept their nerves like an army batallion and launched a calculated assault.The 4th wicket partnership was amongst the best ever in I.P.L.cricket.It was an abject lesson in pacing a run-chase.Overall,cricket at it's best.

  • Axe on April 22, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    A Team that has mediocre bowlers like Ajantha Medis in their side can never win.

    Look @ his bowling figures. Most expensive among all regular bowlers. Wright is part-timer.

    Mendis figures reads - 4.-0-38-1 ..Econ. 9.50

    No wonder, PWI lost so badly. Leading spinner leaking runs as river.

  • Will on April 22, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Should have got Wright's overs out of the way in the middle and left the death to Bhuvi and Dinda. Also i don't think Sharma bowled out. Surely PWI new Wright isn't a front line bowler, poor planning, I didn't expect Wright to defend that against Miller in that form.

  • DINESH on April 22, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Like Ashwin, Rahul sharma is a lazy fielder. Whenever the ball goes to R.Sharma, the batsman cross for two runs and that cost the match also. Especially 19th over last ball, Mandeep Singh took two runs and given strike to D.Miller and he finished off the match with a ball to spare.

  • Shantanu on April 22, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    It was quite a thriller. I think crowds generally love high scoring chases. Both Mandeep and Miller played exceptionally well though towards end Mandeep left all the big hitting to Miller which wasnt exploited by Warriors. Kings Punjab need to rest Gilchrist and Hussey and see how things pan out for them. Like the way Sangakkara's rest has helped Sunrisers Pomerbach and Shaun Marsh should be given chances. This should help them do better. Warriors batted well but couldnt keep Miller quiet which shows lack of planning. They fielded quite poorly and some of their bowlers dont have sound temprament.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Bowling for Pune.... Kumar, Dinda,Sharma, Ajantha and Yuvi. Now the only real allrounder here is Yuvi and no more bowling options in the team for this lost game. As Dinda has been leaking runs on many occasions who is there in this team as backup ? Bowling is the weak point in this Pune selection. It is time they think wisely and not emotionally.

  • Sharky on April 22, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    At the presentation afterwards, it was unfair to ask Pune Warriors where it all went wrong, because they also played a flawless brilliant game. It was just that the Lucky Fairy in 20/20 had time to guide Miller & Mandeep. It was a brilliant game of cricket and a good advertisement for exciting 20/20 cricket. Congratulations (and a thank you) to both teams and Miller.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Issue with Pune is they do not select a balanced side. When u include Wright and Smith they are batting all rounders. You take out an alrounder who has been bowling well then you are stuck when it comes to final overs, specially when Dinda is unpredictable. You can stack up the team with all batters and then who is going to bowl and hold the fort ???

  • Ravi on April 22, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Another poor performance from PWI.. Allan Donald has tried almost everything that he could but all in vain.. It was a good batting track as was evident from the fact that over 370 runs scored for the loss of just 7 wickets.. It was the fielding which could have won PWI this game but they were all pretty ordinary on the field.. But still it was a good target to chase and credit goes to Mandeep and Miller who batted brilliantly.. Also Vohra placed the ball beautifully with Mandy to keep the required run rate in check after the loss of two early wickets.. Bhuvi was once again impressive with the ball.. I think he should have got much more better results for his efforts if he is in some other team..