The Kings XI Punjab maintained their hundred percent win record in the Oppo CLT20 2014 after they defeated Cape Cobras by seven wickets in their final group stage match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. After their bowlers did a very good job of dismissing the Cape Cobras for 135, the KXIP batsmen went about their job of knocking off the required runs without too much fuss, taking the team past the finish line in the 19th over.(Also Read: QUICK STATS: M17 - KINGS XI PUNJAB V CAPE COBRAS)
Facing an asking rate of 6.80, Kings XI Punjab needed just one good partnership to push themselves in the driver’s seat. And that partnership came upfront as openers Manan Vohra and Virender Sehwag added 41 in 5.2 overs. Just like he did against the Northern Knights on Friday, Vohra was once again the aggressor in the partnership, scoring 23 runs off 15 balls, which included four boundaries.
Though Vohra was dismissed in the sixth over, the platform had already been set for the rest of the batting lineup to take the team home.
Sehwag made 23 before he was dismissed in the tenth over and Glenn Maxwell entertained in a brief cameo, hitting two sixes in his 19-ball 23.
Wriddhiman Saha polished off a brilliant day behind the stumps with a composed knock with the bat; he remained unbeaten on 42 and hit three boundaries and a six in his 35-ball outing. He had the company of David Miller (16*) as KXIP romped to their fourth win in as many matches.
The left-arm spinner Robin Peterson was the most successful bowler for Cape Cobras, returning with figures of 2 for 19, while Sybrand Engelbrecht accounted for the dismissal of Maxwell.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, Cape Cobras frittered away a rollicking start provided by their openers, losing their last eight wickets for 30 runs to finish with a modest 135 runs on the board. The opening pair of Richard Levi and Hashim Amla decided to take toll of the new ball, expecting the pitch to slow down significantly as had happened in the earlier game. Levi signaled his intentions at the very start, picking up a boundary off the second ball of the match, and followed it up with a four and a six in the following over.
Amla was not to be left behind; the bearded opener cut the left-arm spinner Akshar Patel’s first delivery through point, and deposited a Parwinder Awana delivery into the stands at long-off and sent one a half-volley crashing through cover in the following over.
Thisara Perera was handed the ball to bowl the fifth over, little knowing what was in store. Amla got stuck into the Sri Lankan all-rounder, hitting him for five consecutive deliveries; the second ball was flicked from way outside off into the midwicket boundary, the third was put away to the point boundary, the fourth ball landed in between mid-on and mid-off and raced away to the fence, the fifth – a short delivery – was pulled to the midwicket boundary, and the last ball of the over was bludgeoned through the extra-cover region.
The 31-year old, usually known for his silken methods with the bat, had muscled his way to 40 from 21 balls when he backed himself to step out and hit the leg-spinner Karanveer Singh over extra cover, but didn’t get under the ball sufficiently and holed out to the man running in from long-off.
Levi, who had contributed only 19 to the 60-run opening stand, then added 24 and 21 in the company of Omphile Ramela and Stiaan van Zyl respectively, before he was stunned by a Glenn Maxwell return catch. Levi made 42 from 37 balls and hit two boundaries and three sixes.
The dismissal of Levi opened up the floodgates as Cape Cobras would lose the next seven wickets for 30 runs over a period of 5.3 overs. It was a mixture of disciplined bowling, poor shot selection and some astonishing glovework from Wriddhiman Saha – who effected two incredibly difficult stumpings down the leg-side and took a full-stretched catch diving to his left - that caused early closure to the Cape Cobras innings.
The left-arm spinner Akshar Patel was the pick of the KXIP bowlers, returning with figures of 3 for 15 from his four overs, while Anureet Singh returned figures of 3 for 12 from his 2.3 overs. The remaining four bowlers picked up a wicket each.
Kings XI Punjab win by 7 wickets
Brief Scores: Cape Cobras 135 in 18.3 Overs (Richard Levi 42, Hashim Amla 40, Akshar Patel 3-15, Anureet Singh 3-12) lost to Kings XI Punjab 139-3 18.1 in Overs (Wriddhiman Saha 42*, Robin Peterson 2-19)
Man of the Match: Akshar Patel, for his bowling spell of 4-0-15-3
Bailey: "A really great fight back. It was a tired wicket and holding up but we were pretty clinical tonight. Akshar Patel was brilliant."
Vilas: "We knew we had to put a big score on the board but didn't get enough runs on the board. We came into the tournament rusty and playing catch up is difficult. Spinners bowled well but it was not enough."