Sehwag takes KXIP into the IPL finals
Updated - May 31, 2014 6:10 am
The semi-final clash between the Chennai Super Kings and the Kings XI Punjab was expected to be a cracker of a game. It panned out to expectation MS Dhoni winning the toss inviting George Bailey’s men to bat first on the flat Wankhade wicket. Bailey at the toss said he would love to post 225 and see if his bowlers could defend it.
When Virender Sehwag walked in to bat, one could see the look of intent in his eyes. What we guessed was his determination to bat well in the important match and give them a solid start. So did he, a rocking start to the innings by the Delhi Dasher and they were off to a flier.The way he batted reminded us of the Sehwag of old times when he would rip apart the bowling, slash the ball off for a four even with slightest of width and a six whenever possible. Super Kings Bowlers are to blame too, bowling errantly to his strengths and allowing him to sit on their heads.
There was no stopping him, scoring constantly at the strike rate of 200; he got to hundred in 50 balls. Other batsmen did play supportive knocks but not worth mentioning. By the time he was caught Sharma by Du Plessis Sehwag had scored 122 off mere 58 balls and his team was well placed at 211 with 11 balls to spare.227 was the target as Bailey wanted and the first over by Johnson provided them the break though as well. Faf was caught off express pace of Johnson and then walked in Suresh Raina who with his breath-taking, thunder-storm batting almost over shadowed Sehwag’s knock.
He broke shatters as soon as he was at the crease first Johnson then Sandeep took sixes and fours from Raina.By the time one could realize what was happening he got to the 2nd fastest IPL fifty in just 16 balls, one more than the fastest record. Next over by Parvinder Awana was a special one, a 6, 6, 4, 4, 4Nb, 4, 4 and it went for 33 runs. Raina parked him for two biggies on the first two and then crafted a good ball to the boundary and it continued the run rate, which was 11.35 at the start of the innings, was 9.07 now. After that over CSK were at 100 in 6 over’s the fastest hundred in T20 cricket and Raina was at 87 in 25 balls.(also read Top 10 fastest half-centuries in IPL)
What happened thereafter is forgettable Raina was run-out of the very next ball by George Bailey’s brilliance and the match turned to its head. The score which looked gettable got further and unreachable for the rest of the Super Kings batsmen as all internationals, Smith, Du plessis, McCullum and Hussey failed to get it going.
Even MS Dhoni standing at the stumps till the last ball and his trademark six in the end couldn’t get CSK home. It was Sehwag’s day and even the magnificent smoker by Raina could not spoil it and in the end KXIP made it to their first IPL final after 6 seasons.
Sehwag mentioned at the Post match presentation after receiving the MOM award that he played this knock for his son who complained to him over the phone of being teased by his friends for poor performance by his dad. He pleased a million hearts and shut a million mouths too, MS Dhoni and Bailey too were all praises for the old warrior who ultimately had the last laugh.
Kings XI Punjab 226 for 6 (Sehwag 122, Miller 38)
beat Chennai Super Kings 202 for 7 (Raina 87, Dhoni 42*) by 24 runs