Harjit Mehat | cricket20
Paul Valthaty scored a magnificent century to steer the Kings XI Punjab to a shock 6 wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings after successfully chasing down a victory target of 189.
The 24 year old opener produced a stunning display of batting to record the first century in this years IPL from which came from just 52 deliveries and included 15 fours and 2 sixes.
The opener dispatched the Super Kings bowlers around the ground during a scintillating display of batting to hand the defending champions their first loss of the tournament despite Murali Vijay and Subramaniam Badrinath best effects.
The pair came together in the first over and produced a brilliant 3rd wicket partnership of 124 to help the Super Kings reach 184-4 after Praveen Kumar had struck twice to leave the defending champions 0-2 after being put into bat by Adam Gilchrist.
Vijay lead the Super Kings recovery with a quick fire innings of 74 which included 6 fours and 4 sixes during an innings which only lasted 43 deliveries to help the visitors reach 188-4.
Faced with a mammoth run chase the Kings XI got off to a quick start thanks to Paul Valthaty (120) who smashed a 23 ball half century.
Having failed with the bat against the Pune Warriors, Valthaty made amends against the defending champions dispatching 9 fours and a six to record the fastest half century of the tournament so far.
He shared an opening stand of 61 with Kings XI skipper Adam Gilchrist who played the supporting role scoring 19 runs before he was caught by Suraj Randiv out on the boundary to give Albie Morkel the vital break through.
Despite the loss Valthaty continued to attack the Super Kings bowlers during a 2nd wicket partnership of 39 with Shaun Marsh (12) which kept the Kings XI on course to record a shock victory.
Valthaty continued to attack the Super King bowlers thanks to Marsh rotating the strike but eventually lead to their down fall when Valthaty turned down a second run which left the Aussies standard in the middle of the wicket to leave the home side 100-2.
Sunny Singh (20) and Abhishek Nayar (0) quickly followed but Valthaty remained calm to see the Kings XI home with 5 deliveries to spare.
The game got off to a dramatic start thanks to Praveen Kumar who struck twice to remove Srikkanth Anirudha and Suresh Raina with the first two deliveries of the innings.
The 24 year old removed Anirudha (0) with a lovely in-swinging delivery which wrapped the Super Kings opener on the pads in front of the middle stump.
Praveen followed this up with an out-swinging delivery which Raina scooped to Sunny Singh in the covers before Badrinath played and missed at Praveen’s hat trick ball to leave the Super Kings 0-2 after just 3 deliveries.
Having suffered a torrid time against the Pune Warriors this was just the response Kings XI skipper Gilchrist would have been looking for after he put the Super Kings into bat on a slightly green tinged track.
Despite the precarious position Vijay and Badrinath found themselves in the pair played superbly to lead the Super Kings recovery during a 3rd wicket stand of 124.
Having weathered the early storm Badrinath registered the first boundary of the game in the 4th over before Vijay followed this up by dispatching Praveen for a boundary in a six to finally get the Super Kings innings up and running.
With the runs starting to flow the pair quickly took control of the game with the ball disappearing to all parts of the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
Vijay raced to 50 in just 34 deliveries before he was finally dismissed by Piyush Chawla having just dispatched the spinner for a boundary and a six in the 15th over.
Despite the loss of Vijay, Badrinath (66) completed his own half century before Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni launched an astonishing blitz scoring 43 runs from just 20 deliveries to help the visitors record the highest total so far in this years IPL before he was bowled by Ryan Harris from the last delivery of the innings.