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IPL T20 2011 – KXP vs CSK: Chennai Bow To Valthaty’s Brutal Hundred

By on April 13, 2011

Kings XI Punjab 193 for 4 (Valthaty 120*) beat Chennai Super Kings 188 for 4 (Vijay 74, Badrinath 66*) by six wickets…

Some would have wondered where the little-known Paul Valthaty fitted into Kings XI Punjab’s IPL plans. In 52 balls, the right-hander gave them his reply. Valthaty’s first hundred in any form of senior cricket was scored against bowlers like Tim Southee, Ravichandran Ashwin, Albie Morkel and Suraj Randiv, helping Kings XI make a mockery of Chennai Super Kings’ score of 188-4.

Valthaty slammed 19 fours and two sixes in the 63-ball 120, as he and Dinesh Karthik (21) overcame a mini-collapse to steer Kings XI home with five balls to spare. After a spate of sluggish wickets and smallish scores, IPL got back to its high-scoring ways with Chennai being inserted at the PCA Stadium. Praveen Kumar took wickets off the first two balls of the match but Murali Vijay and Subramaniam Badrinath softened the blow by adding 124 runs.

The bounce in this wicket was so true and the pace so easy, Chennai’s batsmen kept clearing their left legs and cleared the boundary with scary regularity. Vijay made 74 (43b) while Badrinath batted through for 66 (56b). The stage set for acceleration, MS Dhoni helicoptered his way to 43 (20b) to take Chennai to what seemed a winning score.

Or so it seemed. Valthaty kicked off the chase with a punch through the cover for four, and then whipped Morkel in the same over past mid-on for another four. Morkel returned in the sixth over and Valthaty greeted him with a swivel over deep square leg for six.

His fifty arrived in just 23 balls. Despite skipper Adam Gilchrist’s fall for 19, Valthaty did the heavy scoring all by himself. With 51 needed in the last five, the game seemed even. But another poor over from Morkel turned the game around.

Valthaty smashed Morkel through midwicket to move to 97, then edged him through the vacant slips for four to bring up the hundred, and then steered the pacer through point for another four.

Last season, and in their season opener this year, Punjab seemed to lack positive energy and momentum. Valthaty’s innings could be the turning point for them. And for Dhoni, this was a rare loss.

Source: Yahoo Cricket

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