From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.32 :: NO.18 :: May. 02, 2009

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CRICKET / IPL: RAJASTHAN ROYALS V KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS

Yusuf blitz sinks Knight Riders

Rajasthan Royals pulled off a sensational victory against Knight Riders, as Yusuf Pathan plundered Ajantha Mendis in the Super Over.

Yusuf Pathan was belligerence personified as he took Rajasthan Royals to a thrilling win via the Super Over against Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL encounter at Cape Town. Pathan slammed 16 runs (6, 2, 6 & 4) off Ajantha Mendis’ Super Over after Chris Gayle had set Royals a target of 16.

A little earlier, Shane Warne’s trust in a rookie left-arm slinger paid rich dividends as he tossed the ball to Kamran Khan with Knight Riders requiring seven to win from the last over.

Despite starting with a wide, Kamran bowled with intent, preventing a well-set Sourav Ganguly (46, 30 balls) to take the seven runs required for victory. With just two required off the last two deliveries, Ganguly slashed Kamran to the keeper; new man Ishant Sharma drove hard, but Shane Warne intercepted the drive with veteran athleticism and ripped a throw to the ’keeper that caught Ishant short of his crease as he was going for the winning second run. Match tied. Time for the Super Over to come into play.

Chris Gayle managed three boundary hits off Kamran’s Super Over. Chasing 16, Yusuf began with a mighty six over long-off and was dropped off Mendis’ second ball. Pathan ensured Royals’ win with two more clean hits, a six and a four.

Set a target of 151 by Royals, Knight Riders began in a hurry with Chris Gayle heaving four sixes in his 33-ball 41. Gayle’s departure led to a collapse of sorts: Laxmi Shukla, Brad Hodge and Sanjay Bangar departed within 34 runs of each other.

Ganguly got together with Yashpal Singh and added 49 runs in just under five overs to take Knight Riders close. But first Kamran Khan’s sensational last over and then Yusuf Pathan’s fearless hitting swung things Royals’ way.

Pathan was equally influential when Royals batted first up. With his team struggling at 14 for two in 2.2 overs, he struck 42 off 21 balls (4x4, 2x6) and took his team to 54 for two by the end of the Power Play. He was largely responsible for Royals getting to 150 after the batsmen had failed to counter a decent spell of bowling by Kolkata’s Ishant Sharma and Anureet Singh.

Anureet’s figures, however, were thoroughly spoiled when A. Raut plundered 18 runs off his last over. Ravindra Jadeja and Dimitri Mascarenhas chipped in with useful twenties for Royals as well.

Mendis came on and tightened the screws. The mystery man strangulated the run flow in the middle overs, allowing just 19 off his quota of four overs. Unfortunately for Mendis, all the good work was undone by Yusuf Pathan in four balls of the Super Over.

The Scores

Rajasthan Royals 150 for six in 20 overs (Y. K. Pathan 42, R. A. Jadeja 22, A. D. Mascarenhas 27, I. Sharma 2-36, Anureet Singh 2-35, B. A. W. Mendis 2-19) tied with Kolkata Knight Riders 150 for eight in 20 overs (C. H. Gayle 41, S. C. Ganguly 46, S. K. Warne 2-25, Kamran Khan 3-18).

Super Over: Kolkata Knight Riders 15 runs lost to Rajasthan Royals 18 runs.

Kunal Diwan



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