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Knights in purple, KKR, stall KXIP in Pepsi IPL 7 final

KKR claimed their second IPL title after a nail biting finish on June 1 at Bengaluru by beating KXIP in the final by 3 wickets. It was indeed a befitting final match between the top two contenders after the league matches of a splendid Pepsi IPL 7 season. KXIP had gone on to notch up a gigantic 199 for four due to a marvelous century by Wriddhiman Saha. KKR in response never let the asking rate out of sight always managing to score in the vicinity of 9-12 runs in every over despite losing routine wickets. Though pressure took its toll on Uthappa and he could not flourish on this big occasion as much as expected from him as the target of 199 set up by KXIP was too steep. However like any other team in top form KKR’s win was due to the contributions from each and every member who bowled, fielded or batted well. If it was not Uthappa then a match-winning innings of 94 off just 50 balls was etched by man of the match Manish Pandey. Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and chose to field first. For KXIP, Virender Sehwag and Manan Vohra came out to open the innings. Though it was a brisk start with just 23 runs on the board Umesh Yadav in the fourth over scalped the prize wicket of Sehwag caught by Gambhir at mid-off only on 7. George Bailey was a surprise at No.3 who also could not survive falling to Sunil Narine’s opening delivery on 1. Vohra and Saha played out very cautiously after the two early jolts. After a relatively quiet seventh over both the KXIP batsmen churned up a whirlwind of runs. They plundered 14 off the eighth over which was only a signal to all for what was to follow. KXIP were only at 58 for the loss to two after 10 overs had been bowled by KKR with both Maxwell and Miller due to come in to bat. Wriddhiman Saha in the final match of the Pepsi IPL 7 decided that no one else from his team was required as long as he was around as if taking cue from senior batting pro teammate Viru’s innings in the Qualifier 2. He along with Manan Vohra helped amass 34 runs off the 11th, 12th and 13th overs. So confident was Saha in his onslaught that he did not even spare Narine in the 14th over that cost KKR 19 runs. The diminutive wicketkeeper batsman of...

Pepsi IPL 7 final : KKR’s momentum against KXIP’s brawn

The resurgent KKR team will take on tremendously in form KXIP in the final of Pepsi IPL 7 at Bengaluru today on June 1, 2014. The last game they had played was the Qualifier 1 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata where KKR comfortably outclassed KXIP to reach for the finals. KXIP are looking for their maiden IPL title while having played marvelous cricket throughout the tournament this time. KKR on the other hand would be looking to repeat their 2012 heroics when they had become the champions. Robin Uthappa who is the highest run scorer in the tournament so far will face stiff competition from Glenn Maxwell. It would also be interesting to see how he plays out Mitchell Johnson. The way Uthappa plays out Johnson could mean a lot for the outcome of the match as he is a crucial link to scoring runs for his team KKR who expect him to post another great innings form him in the final. Robin Uthappa has been just unstoppable at the moment but if KXIP can manage to get him out of the picture it will be a reward for them and a heartbreak for KKR. Uthappa’s last ten innings scores are – 47, 65, 47, 46, 80, 40, 67, 83*, 41, 42. 558 runs at an average of 62. He is currently the orange cap holder. Mitchell Johnson will be George Bailey’s main bowler and much is expected of the pacer who has a good chance to live up to his reputation in the final as his performance has been below par. Virender Sehwag has been the toast of KXIP winning them the Qualifier 2 but Morne Morke and Sunil Narine could be the ones who could stop him from proliferating. KKR should indeed fear Sehwag of KXIP especially after his indomitable innings in Qualifier 2 where he made a blistering 122 off 58 balls against CSK. The right-handed Sehwag isn’t very comfortable with the short pitched deliveries and this must be exploited by KKR to subdue Sehwag. KKR has readied Piyush Chawla for the man who lit up IPL 7 with his brilliant knocks, Glenn Maxwell. After having a thunderous start to the season, Glenn Maxwell has been totally lost in front of the spinners from various teams. He’s scored just 117 runs in the last eight innings at 14.6 as every opposition found this chink in his armour. All teams playing against KXIP unleashed their leg spinners against him to dismiss him five times. Gambhir would...

Sehwag of KXIP dethrones CSK’s men in yellow

Coming good at just the most crucial stage seems to be the in thing of Pepsi IPL 7. IPL 2014 has been a treasure trove for the Indian cricket players, as many batsmen have found lost form while the bowlers have emerged to be a force to reckon with from among each of the IPL teams in the tournament. The Qualifier 2 played out between KXIP and CSK, bound to be a thrilling encounter at Wankhede was won by KXIP by 24 runs. As man of the match Sehwag clicked to score a dominating 122 runs off just 58 balls KXIP posted a mammoth 226 in their quota of 20 overs which was too much even for Dhoni’s men in yellow. Though CSK was known to be the most professional outfit in the IPL matches who have posted clinical wins against all over the years KXIP seemed to have just found the key to breaking them. CSK yet again lost to KXIP as they did in both their matches at the league stage. KXIP has found luck in their second chance to claim their berth in the Pepsi IPL 7 finals against KKR to be played out at Bengaluru on June 1, 2014, Sunday. At his marauding best the stylish Indian batsmen Virender Sehwag of KXIP found his nick to play an unbelievable and stormy knock of 122 off 58 balls in the crucial Qualifier 2 against a helpless CSK. It was the breath taking pace of Sehwag’s batting that left the CSK bowlers clueless as to what to offer him. Virender Sehwag’s second century in IPL 7 sprang the biggest surprise of IPL-7 at the Wankhede Stadium setting the tone of a KXIP victory as they batted first at the Qualifier 2 on May 30 to take his team to a spectacular victory over CSK and to the title match against KKR at Bangalore on Sunday, June 1, 2014. When CSK came out to play in response for winning the match it was Suresh Raina’s blinder that left all stunned. Raina had come instead of Fau du Plessis who was out cheaply after having opened the CSK innings along with Dwayne Smith. It was Raina’s innings that was the only threat that could have turned the match in favor of CSK who were otherwise quite inconsistent and in awe of the enormous total of 226 that they had to chase down. Unfortunately for CSK a direct-hit run out effected by KXIP captain George Bailey halted CSK in their...

Proficient CSK’s men in yellow eliminate MI

A subdued yet clinical performance in all departments of cricket saw CSK’s men in yellow tower over defending champions MI by seven wickets in the Eliminator at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on May 28th 2014. Consequently CSK will now face KXIP in Qualifier 2 scheduled for 2000 hrs IST on May 30, 2014 at the Wankhede Stadium. Unfortunately after having made the playoffs by sneaking past RR, the MI team who were the defending champions of Pepsi IPL 7, have seen a see-saw change in fortunes all along the different legs of the this tournament. Their loss in the Eliminator brought the curtains down upon their show in Pepsi IPL 2014. CSK have exhibited their prowess once again as the men in yellow proved beyond any doubt that they are the most consistent team in IPL as they made it to Qualifier 2. The MI innings was opened by Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey after MS Dhoni asked MI to bat having won the toss. At the Brabourne Stadium though the duo were slow off the blocks they gave a solid start to the MI innings. Only 23 runs came from the initial four overs. Having settled down they then plundered 15 and 19 runs off the fifth and sixth overs respectively. Simmons shone through even as Michael Hussey was dismissed for 39 by Jadeja. After 10 overs MI were 82 for one. Dhoni had reaped the benefits of having brought in the spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja from the seventh over by cutting off the free flow of runs. Corey Anderson hitting hard could manage only 20 with two maximums before being dismissed in the 13th over off the bowling of Ashwin to leave MI tottering on 99 for two. Simmons took MI past their 100 run mark with a tremendous six off the very next delivery in company of Rohit Sharma. At the end of the 15th over as Simmon’s blade flashed MI reached 127 for two. With Simmons and Rohit Sharma at the crease the possibility of MI setting a massive target for CSK was looming overhead. However after the duo scored 13 runs in the 16th over Jadeja got the prize wicket of Simmons on 67 as he was caught at the long-on fence. The MI scorecard read 143 for three when Kieron Pollard came in to bat with his skipper. Rohit was dismissed cheaply by Mohit Sharma putting an end to the chances of a grand total to exert pressure upon CSK....

KKR steam rolls KXIP to reach IPL 7 finals

An incredibly charged up KKR, after having displaced CSK from their second spot in the points table having won their last league encounter, played and won the Qualifier 1 in front of the home crowd at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on the reserved day today on May 28th. With this superb win KKR are now into the finals of the Pepsi IPL 7 with aplomb much to the chagrin of the table toppers KXIP who have been in stupendous form throughout the tournament. Playing in front of the crazy KKR home crowd with a poll showing 54% for a KKR win it was like a dream come true for them as they stormed into the finals to be played at Bengaluru on June 1. KXIP who have been the best batting line-up of the season have a truly deserving second chance as they have had an exceptional IPL defying all predictions. KXIP will play Qualifier 2 with the winner of the Eliminator to be played later on today, May 28th at the Braborne stadium between CSK and MI. Though the KXIP team has chased down many big targets it seemed they had a bad day as they could reach a target of 164 set for them by KKR. It seems that the crowd had an effect upon them and their nerves failed to hold out on a big occasion. KKR beat KXIP in the Pepsi IPL 7 qualifier 1 to reach their second final in 3 years when KXIP chasing 164 fell short by 28 runs. KXIP made only 135 for eight in their stipulated 20 overs as their middle order collapsed. KKR pacer Umesh Yadav picked up three wickets for 13 runs to grab the man of the match award. The fall of wickets for KXIP was Sehwag at 5/1 after 1.1 overs, Vohra at 45/2 after 5.5 overs, Maxwell at 55/3 after 7.5 overs, Saha at 80/4 after 12 overs, Miller at 82/5 after 12.2 overs, Patel at 87/6 after 13.3 overs, Dhawan at 117/7 after 17.3 overs and Bailey at 134/8 after 19.1 overs. KXIP’s middle order fell in pieces against a tight KKR bowling line-up. Morkel grabbed 2/23. KKR successfully defended 164 on a slow surface that remained under cover for three days. Piyush Chawla also bowled smartly to restrict the KXIP claiming Miller’s valuable wicket while KKR accomplished a record eighth victory on the trot. Orange Cap holder Uthappa once again laid the foundation with the help of four boundaries and two sixes in...

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