IPL Final: Checkmate! Kolkata are the Kings of IPL 2014

Kolkata celebrate after being crowned champions of the 2014 IPL

Kolkata celebrate after being crowned champions of the 2014 IPL

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned IPL champions behind batsman Manish Pandey’s sparkling knock of 94.

Kolkata defeated the Kings XI Punjab, who were playing in their maiden IPL final, by three wickets in Bangalore.

Even though all the spotlight will be on Kolkata, Punjab wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha deserves a huge amount of credit for scoring an entertaining century.

Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir would have been beaming from ear to ear with his decision to bowl first as he took the catch to dismiss Punjab opener Virender Sehwag off the bowling of Umesh Yadav for seven runs.

Punjab skipper George Bailey’s gamble to promote himself up the order did not pay off as he was clean bowled by West Indies spinner Sunil Narine for just one run.

Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha stabilised the innings with a 129-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Vohra was caught and bowled by Piyush Chawla for 67 off 52 balls, which included six boundaries and two sixes.

During the partnership, Vohra was stumped in the 16th over when he was on 62 runs. However, the third umpire ruled in favour of the batsman after replays showed that wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa had taken off the bails when the ball was in front of the stumps. In addition to being not out, Punjab were also awarded a no-ball as a result of Uthappa’s actions.

Chawla struck again just two balls later when Glenn Maxwell was caught by Morne Morkel at short third man for a golden duck.

Saha ended up scoring 115 off 55 balls, which included 10 boundaries and an incredible eight sixes, to help Punjab finish on 199/4 off their 20 overs.

Saha hammered 10 boundaries and eight sixes during his valiant knock of 115

Saha hammered 10 boundaries and eight sixes during his valiant knock of 115

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chawla was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Yadav and Narine chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 200 to be crowned champions of the 2014 IPL, Kolkata got off to a horrible start as Uthappa was caught by Akshar Patel at point off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson for five runs.

Gambhir and Manish Pandey made up for the early loss of Uthappa with a 53-run partnership before Gambhir was caught by David Miller at long-on off the bowling of Karanveer Singh for 23.

Pandey and Yusuf Pathan kept the runs flowing with a 71-run partnership, during which Pandey brought up his half-century, before Pathan was caught by Maxwell at long-on off the bowling of Singh for 36.

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan scored 12 runs before he was run out by Bailey.

Ryan ten Doeschate only made four runs before he was caught by Miller at long-on off the bowling of Singh.

Pandey went on to score 94 off 50 balls, which included seven boundaries and six sixes, before he was caught by Bailey at cover to become Singh’s fourth victim of the match.

Pandey was named Man of the Match for his match-winning knock of 94

Pandey was named Man of the Match for his match-winning knock of 94

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Suryakumar Yadav mustered five runs before he was caught by Vohra at deep midwicket off the bowling of Johnson.

Despite the late flurry of wickets, Chawla kept his cool and led Kolkata to victory with three balls to spare by carving Parvinder Awana for a boundary over point.

Singh was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Johnson claimed two.

Bailey was gutted to have lost the final, and said: “We’ve got a special bunch of guys, we’ve had a wonderful tournament, and our guys can hold their heads high.”

Gambhir was over the moon at having won the 2014 IPL tournament, and said: “Where we were after first seven games, not many people thought we would be here. They absorbed a lot of pressure, a lot of credit needs to go to the team. This is a ground where it is very difficult to defend. We wanted to get it down to 5 overs, 50 or 60 to get. Manish played a fantastic innings, Yusuf chipped in, and Chawla hit that important six. Wriddhiman played an unbelievable innings. Manish is fearless.”

Pandey was named Man of Match, and said: “We have got four achievements, Ranji Trophy, [Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy], Irani and the cherry on the cake was the IPL. I’m very optimistic, and I love to play the crunch game. We got ten in the first over, and that was the time I thought, if we kept doing that, we’ll get 200.”

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