Valthaty ton flattens Chennai
Kings XI bounce back from opening loss in style
Last Updated: 13/04/11 6:50pm
Valthaty: scored first century of this year's IPL
Paul Valthaty's century powered Kings XI Punjab to a thrilling six-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in Mohali.
Chasing 189 to win, opener Valthaty cracked a superb 120 off 63 balls - the first hundred of the 2011 IPL - to almost single-handedly give Punjab the win and erase memories of their shock loss to tournament debutants Pune Warriors in the campaign opener.
Earlier, it was the Super Kings who had dominated proceedings - despite two early losses - as Murali Vijay (74 off 43 balls) and Subramaniam Badrinath (66 off 56) enjoyed a 124-run stand followed by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 43 off 20 balls.
Chennai looked to have pushed the self destruct button at the start when seamer Praveen Kumar struck in the first two deliveries of the match to remove Anirudha Srikkanth and Suresh Raina.
But Vijay put paid to Punjab's hopes, combining with Badrinath to blast his way to a half-century off just 34 deliveries.
Badrinath had largely played second fiddle during Vijay's surge and it was only after the latter's dismissal that he reached 50, accompanied by Dhoni's slog in the closing stages.
Badrinath's eight boundaries had helped anchor the innings well in the 64-run stand with Dhoni to boost the total towards 188. Dhoni hit four fours and two sixes before being dismissed off the final ball of the innings.
Punjab's foundations were down to Valthaty, who worked his way around skipper Adam Gilchrist's 19 and notched a solid half-century in quick time.
Even a mix-up which left Shaun Marsh run-out for 12 and a formidable asking rate failed to deter Valthaty's assault on the Chennai bowlers.
Dhoni's men maintained hope with the wickets of Sunny Singh (20) and Abhishek Nayar (0), but Valthaty smashed 19 boundaries and two sixes in his match-winning innings.
Dinesh Karthik (21 off 11) provided able support in a nervy 57-run stand at the close and hit a six to secure the win with five balls left.