Kings XI Punjab v Rising Pune Supergiants, IPL 2016, Mohali April 17, 2016

Vijay, Vohra fifties give Kings XI first win


Kings XI Punjab 153 for 4 (Vijay 53, Vohra 51, Maxwell 32*, M Ashwin 3-36) beat Rising Pune Supergiants 152 for 7 (du Plessis 67, Smith 38, Mohit 3-23) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Half-centuries from openers M Vijay and Manan Vohra gave Kings XI Punjab their first win of the IPL season after their bowlers had kept Rising Pune Supergiants to 152 in good batting conditions. There were a few hiccups towards the end, when the legspinner M Ashwin took three wickets in the space of eight balls, but Glenn Maxwell calmed Kings XI's nerves with an unbeaten 14-ball 32 and took them home with eight balls remaining.

In a clash between two good batting sides with suspect bowling attacks, the difference came down to small things. Kings XI's bowlers made the batsmen work harder than their Supergiants counterparts did, with Ishant Sharma and Thisara Perera particularly prone to sending down freebies.

The toss was important, though not in the way MS Dhoni might have expected when he chose to bat first. He wanted his bowlers and fielders to escape the worst of the afternoon heat, but that left his top order braving temperatures in the mid-30s.

It told on Faf du Plessis, who tired visibly as his innings wore on. He began brightly, but struggled to find the boundary when the fields spread, with the Kings XI bowlers making a concerted effort to make him hit towards the long square boundary on one side of the pitch. Having hit six fours off the first 20 balls of his innings, he only hit two more off the last 33 to finish with 67 off 53 balls.

Du Plessis' innings ended in the final over of the Supergiants innings, when he miscued a Mohit Sharma slower ball, hitting it high in the air for the bowler to complete a well-judged return catch. Mohit's slower ball had also removed Supergiants' second-highest scorer, Steven Smith, in the 18th over. There was a bit of grip available on a Mohali surface that was drier than it looked, and bounce too, and Mohit exploited both expertly with his back-of-the-hand release, causing the two well-set batsmen to hit the ball earlier than desired, and off the high part of the bat. Mohit finished with figures of 3 for 23, and gave away only 11 runs off his two overs in the slog.

Kings XI's other seam-bowling Sharma, Sandeep, was also effective, bowling stump-to-stump and getting a bit of movement, usually into the right-hander, to finish with figures of 2 for 23.

The two Sharmas were primarily responsible, in the end, for keeping Supergiants down to 152. It was at least 10 runs short of the total they may have expected when they were 76 for 2 at the halfway stage.

Vijay gave Kings XI the early impetus their chase needed, stepping out of his crease to hit Ankit Sharma's left-arm spin over the top for two fours in the second over. He did the same to Ishant Sharma in the next over, giving himself room and launching him over extra cover for the first six of the match. Supergiants' total of 152, incidentally, was the highest among IPL innings that did not include a six.

Vohra joined the boundary-hitting spree with three successive fours off Ishant in the fifth over. He would hit three successive fours off Perera too, in the 11th over, and the bulk of these six fours came off bad balls - short, wide, or both. There was only one other boundary in Vohra's 33-ball 51.

The openers put on 97 before Vohra fell, missing the sweep off a straight ball from Ankit. M Ashwin then caused a bit of a wobble, as Marsh and Miller perished to uncertain strokes against his legspin and Vijay top-edged him, trying to cut one that wasn't short enough for the stroke.

Maxwell quickly settled Kings XI's nerves, taking 10 off successive balls from M Ashwin, and repeating the dose against R Ashwin in the next over. He had come into the match with scores of 2 and 0 in his last two innings; this was a welcome return to form.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on April 19, 2016, 22:15 GMT

    It was correct to cite Narine for throwing but it's great to see him back and bowling in the IPL. The new action is definitely legal but the bowling, despite two wickets against KXIP, was rather innocuous. But hey, that's better than being out of the game and as his confidence returns we hope he will approximate his previous level. I'm sure everyone wishes him well. Also, a big thank you to the IPL and India for making Narine's return possible.

  • john on April 18, 2016, 11:51 GMT

    Manan Vohra is definitely a future player to watch as a T20 and ODI opening batsmen, he is alot more fluent in his scoring. Then the presesnt Indian T20 openers in Shikhar Dhawan or Rohit Sharma whom are poor T20 players, Vohra would definitely be a good fit over Shikhar Dhawan or Suresh Raina in the Indian T20 or ODI team.

  • Sree on April 18, 2016, 10:04 GMT

    Irfan is a done deal and just overhyped these days, we have seen lot many times whenever he played..nothing to warrant a slot.. Another bits and piece player..We generally tend to praise people once they die , and for an Indian cricketer when they are out of team..Having said, Dhoni does has history of suppressing the ones he dislikes or potential contenders .. Eg: Saha, DK, UV, Pathan etc... Watch out Rahane, MSD will dump you at the earliest oppurtunity

  • Sree on April 18, 2016, 9:38 GMT

    Faf is not a T20 material, the knocks he played and they way he played were absolutely perfect, but for an ODI.Peterson played similarly and to some extend Smith..In short, Pune has got a great team but for ODI..including Dhoni

  • Sen on April 18, 2016, 9:07 GMT

    No one's congratulating du Plessis? Well done, Faf!!

  • DINESH on April 18, 2016, 7:58 GMT

    Where K.Pietersen is playing, either as a captain or as a player most probably his team will get a wooden spoon. When he played for Bangalore and Delhi althrough the years they received the wooden spoon only. Though he is a good player, his star sign is like that. Under Dhoni's captaincy his team reached either SF or F in all the editions, but this time, "No"

  • Vasudevan on April 18, 2016, 7:19 GMT

    Neither MSD nor the rest of his side have shown any motivation or interest to push for victory. It is obvious Dhoni is disinterested in the proceedings. Look at the way they play their middle overs 8-14, it is a complete disaster and a recipe for losing any T-20 game. In any case, Pune have already lost whatever little fan support they may have had in the beginning.

  • Sam on April 18, 2016, 6:37 GMT

    RPS has picked up bowlers like Dinda, Ishant in the auction. They needed to pick an overseas strike bowler someone like Shaun Tait. But they went for an unknown Scott Boland. Strange ! Albie should play instead of Perera.

  • Viren on April 18, 2016, 6:12 GMT

    Irfan Pathan was bowling extremely slowly, low 100's if I remember. The one ball that he bowled over 120 km/h went for a boundary. Irfan is an out and out swing bowler and should be used at the appropriate times, he should have been given the new ball. Also maybe Irfan may have been bowling slow to replicate Bhatia, on instruction from the team management. RPSG should persist with Irfan for a few more matches as he is a confidence player and will contribute with either bat or ball.

  • Venkat on April 18, 2016, 3:29 GMT

    This RPS team is capable of chasing any target but have no clue of how to set a target . So RPS should chase when the option is available . RPS bowlers will do better when they bowl first , without the thought of containment . Ishant and Perera should be replaced by Ishwar Pandey and Albie respectively . If Dhoni does not perfect the team selection immediately , it will be curtains for RSP . Batting order also needs change , depending on the match situation .

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