Pathan shines as Rajasthan Royals win a thriller in Super Over (Lead)

April 24th, 2009 - 3:37 am ICT by IANS  

Cape Town, April 24 (IANS) The first tie and the Super Over in the Indian Premier League here Thursday saw reigning champions Rajasthan Royals pipping Kolkata Knight Riders in a heart-stopping finish.
Yusuf Pathan’s telling blows off Ajantha Mendis handed the Royals victory after the two teams were tied at 150.

In the Super Over, Knight Riders scored 15, with Chris Gayle smashing three fours off 18-year-old left-arm medium pacer Kamran Khan, who also bowled the crucial last over to prevent Knight Riders from winning the match outright.

Pathan finished off the match in four balls, hitting Ajantha Mendis, the mystery Sri Lannkan spinner, for two huge sixes and a four. Pathan had also stroked 42 off 21 balls in Royals’ total of 150 and received the Man of the Match award.

In a roller-coaster of a match, Sourav Ganguly (46) had almost pulled it off for the Knight Riders before a dramatic last over stopped them from getting six from the over and two off the last ball.

Shane Warne called rookie Kamran to bowl the last over and he began with a wide but went on to take two wickets, including that of Ganguly with his fifth ball, and then effected a run-out of his last ball.

In overcast conditions, Knight Riders had to fall back on the expereince of Ganguly, who was stripped of the captaincy just before the start of the tournament.

Ganguly showed his old spark as he single-handely guided the team through the tense middle overs when it needed around nine runs per over. He was ably supporetd by Yashpal Singh (20), who undid the good job with a rush of blood in the last over.

Chasing a modest 151, Knight Riders were off to a explosive start through Chris Gayle’s 41 before losing the plot.

Ganguly pulled Knight Riders back with some telling blows off Munaf Patel, including two successive sixes in one over that fetched Knight Riders 21 runs and turned the tide in their favour.

Earlier Mendis, making his IPL debut, pulled the Knight Riders back into the match by removing the dangerous Pathan and Graeme Smith (15) in one over. Pathan’s 21-ball knock was studded with six fours and two sixes.

Ravindra Jadeja (22) and Dmitri Mascarenhas (27) added 39 runs but both fell trying to accelerate and it was young Abhishek Raut’s (21) last over pyrotechnics that dragged the Royals to 150.

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