Knight Riders v Kings XI, IPL 2014, final, Bangalore June 1, 2014

Pandey guns KKR to second title


Kolkata Knight Riders 200 for 7 (Pandey 94, Karanveer 4-54) beat Kings XI Punjab 199 for 4 (Saha 115*, Vohra 67) by 3 wickets and 3 balls to spare
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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In a high-intensity final played in flawless spirit between two teams full of top-billed cricketers, the five headlining performances came from Indian players without international Twenty20 experience. Four of those efforts were for Kings XI Punjab, in search of their maiden IPL title in seven seasons, but the defining one was played by Manish Pandey and he ensured Kolkata Knight Riders' victorious run of eight matches leading into the final culminated in their second championship.

Pandey's 94 off 50 balls, an innings fuelled by an urgency that did not abate, pulled off the highest successful chase in any Twenty20 final. He lit up the Chinnaswamy Stadium, as Kings XI legspinner Karanveer Singh picked off three of his team-mates, and as left-arm spinner Akshar Patel displayed outstanding composure to concede 5.25 an over, while most bowlers on both sides bled at more than 10. Pandey's gutsy salvo came in response to Wriddhiman Saha scoring the first hundred in an IPL final, and Manan Vohra compiling a half-century, to lead Kings XI to 199. Knight Riders were left needing to achieve their highest score of the season; they did it with three balls to spare.

Pandey, however, did not see the chase through. He was Karanveer's fourth wicket and when he walked off the field, raising his bat to acknowledge cheers at a venue he calls home in the Ranji Trophy, Knight Riders needed 21 off 18 balls. Through singles the equation came down to 11 off seven, and Mitchell Johnson, who had bowled a succession of yorkers in his final over, signed off with a half-tracker. Piyush Chawla hooked it for six. Kings XI captain George Bailey was out of options and had to give the final over to Parwinder Awana, who had conceded 38 in three previous overs. His third ball was a full toss outside off stump, and Chawla carved it to the backward-point boundary, triggering off a Knight Rider pitch invasion.

At no stage during the chase of a daunting target did Knight Riders fall far behind the asking rate, which was 10 per over at the start. Pandey watched Robin Uthappa drive the first ball of the innings to the extra-cover boundary and then perish off the fourth, and when he took strike for the next delivery, Pandey whipped a short of a length offering from Johnson through midwicket with perfect timing. Knight Riders took 10 off the first over and Pandey said later, after the game, that he had realised then how to go about the challenge.

Knight Riders did not hit a six during the Powerplay, and yet they scored 59. Pandey and Gautam Gambhir placed several drives through the infield but the highlight of their 53-run stand was the running between the wickets, which allowed Kings XI only eight dot balls in the first six overs - the fewest of the season. Gambhir then holed out to Karanveer's first ball off the seventh over; Pandey responded to that setback by driving the next over cover for the innings' first six.

With Yusuf Pathan at the crease, the sixes began to flow. He carved Karanveer over extra cover and long-off off consecutive deliveries, and punished a long-hop and a full toss from L Balaji over the leg-side boundary. In between those sixes, Pandey tore into Awana's shoddy lengths, pulling repeatedly to help take 18 off the 11th over. Patel began to bowl during this acceleration and dried up one end, conceding only five runs in his first two overs.

After adding 71 in 43 balls for the third wicket, Yusuf skied Karanveer to Maxwell at long-on. Pandey countered by clouting the next ball over the same fielder's head. When Ryan ten Doeschate also holed out to long-on, leaving Knight Riders with 32 to get off 21, Pandey once again smashed the next ball for six in that same direction. Only after he fell did the chase get nervy for Knight Riders, but Chawla held it together to thwart a spirited Kings XI campaign.

Unlike the Knight Riders' chase, which motored along at a nearly constant pace, the Kings XI innings was a story of two unbelievably different halves. The first half was a blur of flailing arms and aimless bats as the Knight Riders bowlers - fast and spin - exerted control. Sehwag failed against the extra pace of Umesh Yadav and George Bailey's promotion to No.3 lasted two balls. After six overs, Kings XI had made 32, their lowest Powerplay score of the season. They were only 58 after ten.

Just when it seemed Kings XI had blundered by holding Glenn Maxwell and David Miller back to Nos. 5 and 6, Saha and Vohra orchestrated a jaw-dropping turnaround in tempo. Saha hit 35 runs off the 18 balls he faced from Narine - mostly on the leg side - and took 32 off 13 balls from Chawla. Morkel suffered too, as Vohra's one-handed carve carried over the third-man boundary and Saha hooked for six to take 20 runs off the 15th over. Vohra got to his 50 off 42 balls; Saha needed only 29 and did not let up. They added 129 in 12 overs.

By the time Saha lofted Narine to long-on, where the boundary rider parried the ball for six, to bring up his century off 49 balls, the clamour of wanting to see Maxwell and Miller had long died down. Kings XI's previous best in three innings against Knight Riders this season had been 149. They got to 199 tonight, despite their three overseas guns and Sehwag contributing only nine runs. In their last ten overs, Kings XI had scored 141 runs. Those first ten overs cost them in the end.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 4, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    Whadde Match..Victory of KKRicket:)

  • Srinivas on June 3, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Congratulations to KKR. Thoroughly deserving Champions. Beat KXIP in 3 out of their last 3 meetings, including semi-finals and finals, making it 3-1 for this year. Now that is the hallmark of a Champion - Consistently dominating the second best team around them. Not sure what the hue and cry is all about, questioning the credentials of KKR. No doubt that KXIP played fantastic cricket. But the fact that KXIP lost 3-1 to KKR and the fact that KKR won 9 matches on the trot, makes it very easy to say that KKR once again has all the hallmarks of a Champion - Consistently dominating all the team's around them. KXIP showed tremendous improvement and set or chased 200+ scores which makes us feel that they are the best team. But KKR were the best in both the departments and dominated all the teams, and most importantly KXIP - 3-1 for the year. Congrats KKR! From a gutted RR fan.

  • Mahafuz on June 3, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    @MRCRICKETJKNOTHUSSEY..I get your point. But T20 cricket will always be like this..If your opener is in good form others will not have a great deal of u can't say Bailey was a flop...he got few chances becoz of a heavy top order...tendo, S.yadav and even in some matches Shakib has hardly many balls too face....You just can't say take out Uttappa's score and let other things be constant...uttappa out early means there are lot of balls there for other players to step up....fact is both teams were evenly match...both have 3 players each in the top 10 valuable players just can't put emphasis on batting...except A Patel no one is there in terms of dot balls where we have 3, shakib, narine and morkel...KXIP (12) just won one game more then KKR (11)...but then again KKR played one game less...the fact they won and RIGHTFULLY DESERVING CHAMPION is they got the better of KXIP (3-1)

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    @Mr.CRICKETJKNOTHUSSEY, Why do you want to take Uthappa out? And if you really want to look at KKR without Uthappa, then you also must look at KXIP without Miller and Maxwell too... there can't be double standards, right? Take them out and KXIP would have struggled in the tournament especially in the U.A.E. with their pitiful bowling which repeatedly conceded 190-200... they would have struggled big time to chase those's only in the last few matches that Vohra and Sehwag performed blietzkrigs...where were they in the U.A.E.? Oh right there was Pujara.... without M&M, KXIP wouldn't have made it to the palyoffs...let alone getting the 1st position in the league table

  • Jo on June 3, 2014, 0:08 GMT

    Its KKRs record against them in this tournament.... 4-0 win on KXIP, gave them their 2nd title.... Only KKR managed to ding KXIP as many times they met in this IPL. As KXIP's 100% win rate againt CSK is their lost rate as well against KKR. Is this something like newton's law...?

    Hope next IPL have a mandate of boundary sizes atleast 40% more than this IPL, to consider it as a competetive tournament at all.

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2014, 18:24 GMT

    Looking at last few IPL games I was just wondering as an average cricketing fan about a few things.IPL is about entertainment but still its cricket.Without taking credit away from all the old and young guns who created magic with the bat I was wondering for entertainment purposes and to make big matches with big scores is cricket slowly and steadily tilting towards being a game for batsmen only.My concern is not limited to IPL but Indian cricket and to certain extent world cricket.In yesterday's game Sunil Narine the mystery spinner who has a economy of less than 6rpo in IPL and most games he plays goes at 10 rpo Morkel blasted scores of 190 chased in 14 overs.Cricket is about 2ppl batsman bowler I limit my view to indian pitches either its a flat track with run fest or rank turners.Cricket should be ideal contest between bat ball but pitches dont let that happen small boundaries dont help the cause would be goto a stage where machines bowls sixes fly off bat let there be even contest

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    Now ,KKR have won 2 from 2 final appearances. CSK have won 2 from 5 final appearances.

    next year final @ Eden Gardens. guess what KKR may be the most successful team within a year`s time.

  • MD. SHAFAYAT on June 2, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    I see most of the people say that KKR luckily won the trophy of 2014.....!!! How funny ..... Can u believe that a team can win against another team three times in a row only for their luck ??? Those who are mad they can only say this type of things. I think the perfect and most balanced team get the tittle of 2014 although they are not consistent in the beginning of the tournament. They played as a team. Their victory does not come only based on someone individual performance. You can see in every match someone click well which prove that this is a team victory. Specially Uthappa, Shakib , Narine , Umesh in semi and Pandey in final performed really well. Well KOLKATA..............

  • Cricket on June 2, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    @mahafuz_mannan Yes, bowlers are important. But KKR won 8 out of those 9 games on Uthappa's contributions. Take him out and they would have struggled to make the playoffs.

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    The true reason I watched IPL was to find out who'd end up in the CLT20. Hopefully we get a level playing field. This will provide the best possible viewing for audiences and will probably increase revenue in CLT20. My Four Semifinal Teams for CLT20 are KXIP, Cape Cobras/Scorchers, Hobart Hurricanes and KKR/Dolphins. These 6 teams I think stand the greatest chance to impact the tournament. If in South Africa I'd say that Cape Cobras and Scorchers are Equal Favourites. If in UAE, I'd say all six are equally likely