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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Paul Valthaty takes Kings past Super Kings

Paul Valthaty takes Kings past Super Kings

April 13, 2011 20:23 IST

- Scorecard

Little-known Mumbaikar Paul Valthaty stole the limelight with a blistering unbeaten 120, which came off only 63 deliveries, as Kings XI Punjab caused the first upset of the fourth edition of IPL.

Last season's bottom-placed team scored a six-wicket victory over defending champions Chennai Super Kings in Mohali on Wednesday.

Valthaty, who has no first-class experience and till date played only one List A match for Mumbai way back in 2006, hit 19 boundaries and two sixes, as Kings Xi chased down an improbable 189 and won with five balls to spare.

Earlier, Adam Gilchrist elected to field, and the Chennai side put up 188 for 4, courtesy a smashing 74 off only 43 balls by opener Murali Vijay, a useful 66 by S Badrinath and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's little cameo that fetched him 43 off only 20 balls.

The day, however, belonged to 27-year old Valthaty, who played for India colts during the early part of 2002 before an eye injury kept him out of cricket.

Having played a couple of matches for Rajasthan Royals in an earlier edition with scant success, Valthaty certainly shot into the limelight, just like the lesser-known players Manish Pandey, Swapnil Asnodkar, Manpreet Singh Gony had in the earlier editions of the T20 league.

His century, which came off only 52 deliveries, was an exhibition of clean hitting. Everything came from the meat of the blade. He showed he can play the pull-shot to good effect when Tim Southee banged one short.

In the end, Valthaty, who featured in just 12 T20s before -- with a highest score of 70, made a difficult total look easy to achieve.

India captain Dhoni used as many as seven bowlers to defend the total, but Valthaty made sure he stayed till the end to accomplish the target. The Chennai bowlers, including off-spinner R Ashwin, Sri Lankan spinner Suraj Randiv, medium pacers Tim Southee and Albie Morkel, came in for some harsh treatment from the batsman, who hit a flurry off boundaries in the initial overs as his skipper, Gilchrist, was a mere spectator at the other end.

Along with his skipper, Valthaty added 61 runs in 5.5 overs, where the normally brutal Australian contributed only 19. He was caught in the deep by Suraj Randiv off Albie Morkel's bowling.

With Shaun Marsh joining him, Valthaty never let the momentum slip away, adding another 39 runs before Marsh was run-out due to a mix-up while going for the second run.

With the score 136 for two, suddenly Chennai showed signs of making a comeback, as Sunny Singh (20) was caught while trying to go for an ugly hoick and southpaw Abhishek Nayar (0) soon followed, adjudged leg before to Tim Southee.

But Dinesh Karthik (21 not out) batted sensibly during their unbroken 57-run partnership.

It was Karthik who finished proceedings with a huge six off left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati.

The worst part for CSK was that their ploy of opening the bowling with Ravichandran Ashwin unfortunately didn't work, as the offie went for 37 runs in his four wicketless overs.

Southee fared no better, giving away 33 from four, while Morkel took some stick, giving away 38 from his three overs.

The normally effective Scott Styris didn't get another over after giving away 13 in his first over.

Chennai Super Kings innings

Praveen Kumar gave Kings XI a dream start, dismissing openers Shrikant Aniruddha (0) and Suresh Raina (0) with his first two deliveries.

But Vijay (74, 43 balls, 4x6, 6x4) and Badrinath (66 no, 56 balls, 8x4) first steadied the innings and then attacked the bowlers to add 124 runs in only 14.3 overs before Vijay, who was looking good for a ton, was stumped by Gilchrist off Chawla.

In came skipper Dhoni (43, 20 balls, 4x4, 2x6), and he started smacking the bowlers, especially Praveen who was hit for two fours and two sixes in his 18th over.

The 27-year-old Vijay showed no mercy on the KXIP bowlers

including Praveen, leg spinner Piyush Chawla (1/33 from 3 overs) and left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt (0/35 from 3 overs) as he took them to the cleaners.

Abhishek Nayar and Ryan McLaren too came in for some harsh treatment from CSK batsmen.

Dhoni and Badrinath added 64 runs from 5.1 overs as CSK posted the highest total in the tournament so far.

Dhoni played the famous 'helicopter shot' that was rarely visible during the World Cup as Ryan McLaren was hit over deep mid-wicket.

His 50-run partnership with Badrinath for the fourth wicket in just 21 balls.

Just when it looked that Dhoni would score a half century, Ryan Harris bowled a tight last over. His last delivery of the innings was bowled in the block hole that saw Dhoni's stumps getting uprooted.

But CSK, by then, had posted a challenging score.

Credit should also be given to Badrinath, as he played second fiddle to both Vijay and Dhoni but never got bogged down.

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