Yuvraj steers Kings XI to thrilling victory
Yuvraj Singh hit the winning boundary to seal a remarkable Super Overs victory over a stunned Chennai Super Kings to win a truly remarkable game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The Super Kings were set a target of 137 for victory and after ten overs they seemed on course for a routine win thanks to an opening partnership of 65 from Matthew Hayden (33) and Parthiv Patel (57) but a stunning middle order collapse resulted in the home side needing to score 10 runs off the final over.
With the tension building Albie Morkel scored a boundary from the first ball of Irfan Pathanís deciding over and with another 5 runs conceded from the next 3 balls the Super Kings needed just one more run to win.
From the penultimate ball of the game Ravichandran Ashwin failed to score setting up a final ball decider. Pathan remained calm and bowled a slow full length ball which Ashwin amazingly picked out Mohammad Kaif at mid off to send the game into a Super Over.
The Super Kings batted first and although they lost Matthew Hayden (0) from the second ball of Juan Theronís over Suresh Raina hit back with a huge six before he was caught by Mahela Jayawardene to leave the Kings XI needing 10 from their super Over.
The drama continued in the Kings XI Super Over when Jayawardene smashed Muttiah Muralitharan for a huge six of the first ball of the over before throwing away his wicket when he was caught by Murali Vijay at long off.
The Super Kings turned the screws even more when Muralitharan bowled a dot ball but Yuvraj remained cool under the intense pressure to cut a boundary through third man to seal a remarkable victory to claim their first win.
Having won the toss and electing to bat the Kings XI Punjab failed to fire once again as their experienced top order struggled against Muralitharan slumping to a disappointing 136-8 against the Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Despite losing Ravi Bopara in the first over the Kings XI got of to a good start thanks to Irfan Pathan who was promoted up the order after his excellent innings against the Deccan Chargers on Friday night.
Bopara (1) suffered his first failure in this years IPL lasting only 8 balls before he was caught by Lakshmipathy Balaji to give the impressive Albie Morkel a wicket in his second over.
Pathan (39) played a composed innings scoring the bulk of the Kings XIís run in the first eight overs building a partnership of 40 with skipper Kumar Sangakkara (15) but the pair both lost their wickets in the space of 10 ball to leave the visitors 58-3
Jayawardeneís (3) unforgettable IPL continued when he was trapped LBW by his Sri Lankan international team mate Muralitharan to reduce the Kings XI to 64-4.
With another disappointing batting display by the Kings XI on the cards Yuvraj Singh produced a special innings top scoring with 43 to lead the visitors counter attack. His partnership of 45 with Mohammad Kaif (14) with an important contribution as it steadied a middle order prone to spectacular collapses.
Muralitharan picked up his third wicket of the innings when Kaif was caught by Albie Morkel in the 16th over but Manvinder Bisla (7) played an excellent supporting role to allow Yuvraj to have as much of the strike as possible before he was run out at the end of the 18th over.
The Kings XI hopes of a big finish were ended when Yuvraj was caught by substitute fielder George Bailey off the last ball of Morkelís final over before a third wicket in the space of three balls feel at the start of the 19th when Juan Theron was run out with out scoring.
Piyush Chawla faced the final 5 balls of the innings scoring 8 more runs to help set the Super Kings a victory target of 137 leaving Sangakkara to reflect on another poor batting display on a good batting track.
With such a small target to chase Hayden and Patel took their time building a solid partnership at the top of the order which set the foundations for the Super Kings victory.
Hayden departed for 33 and although the Super Kings lost 3 wickets in the space of 10 balls Patel remained at the crease ready to lead the Super Kings to an apparent easy victory.