sport

Knight Riders take IPL title

Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned Indian Premier League champions for a second time in three years after chasing down a target of 200 to beat Kings XI Punjab at Bangalore.

Manish Pandey struck 94 before it was left to Piyush Chawla to see the Knight Riders home, the left-hander slicing a four over backward point to take his team past their opponents' total of 199-4 with three balls to spare.

It all meant Wriddhiman Saha's unbeaten century was in vain for the Kings XI, who had also lost to Kolkata in the delayed final qualifier earlier in the week.

They must have had high hopes of gaining revenge after posting such an imposing score, Saha and Manan Vohra (67) the star turns after the Kings XI had seen their big names fail.

Opener Virender Sehwag made just seven before falling to Umesh Yadav and captain George Bailey managed just a single, his dismissal to spinner Sunil Narine leaving the score at 30-2.

However Vohra helped repair the early damage with a half-century that included two sixes and six fours, putting on a stand worth 129 runs with Saha that was eventually ended by Chawla.

The leg-spinner also accounted for Glenn Maxwell, the Australian departing for a first-ball duck having been sat patiently waiting for a chance to bat. Saha, though, ended up 115 not out from 55 balls, hitting eight sixes and 10 fours.

Sparkling ton

His sparkling ton left Kolkata with plenty of work to do to vindicate skipper Gautam Gambhir's decision to bowl first after winning the toss.

They lost Robin Uthappa - the tournament's top run-scorer in 2014 - early for five but Gambhir and Pandey kept up with the required rate in a second-wicket alliance worth 53 during the powerplay overs.

Yusuf Pathan came in after the departure of his captain, the first of four wickets for leg-spinner Karanveer Singh, and duly belted 36 from only 22 balls with four maximums.

Even with Yusuf's departure, as well as that of Shakib Al Hasan, the Knight Riders seemed to be on course, only for them to suffer a late wobble when firstly Ryan ten Doeschate and then Pandey - who faced just 50 deliveries for his runs - fell in the same Karanveer over.

But, just as the Kings XI might have sensed an opening, Chawla pulled the final ball of the penultimate over from Mitchell Johnson for six, leaving the equation at five needed from the last.

After a dot ball, Narine got a single to get Chawla on strike and then watched on as his team-mate blazed a boundary to seal the win, immediately sparking wild scenes of celebration as his colleagues rushed onto the field.