Cape Town - David Miller smashed the Kings XI Punjab to
a dramatic seven-wicket win against the Pune Warriors in a last-over thriller
by dispatching the penultimate delivery of the match for a magnificent six over
extra cover in the IPL match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in
Mohali on Sunday.
The Pune Warriors managed 185 for four in
their 20 overs, courtesy of 64 off 42 balls by Aaron Finch and an explosive
cameo of 34 off ten balls by Luke Wright, reports the supersport.com website.
But Miller scored a heroic undefeated 80
off 41 balls, with five fours and five sixes and featured in an unbroken
128-run partnership off 79 balls for the fourth wicket with Mandeep Singh (77
off 58 balls) to power Punjab to an unlikely victory.
Wright bowled the final over with 16 runs
needed for a win. A hero with the blade earlier on, he turned villain as Miller
smashed two successive sixes to catapult the hosts to 186 for three in 19.5
Singh gave Miller as much strike as
possible during the final overs when 37 runs were needed off 18 balls for
victory, and the South African obliged by unleashing his heavy artillery to
pound the boundary ropes.
It could still prove to be a defining knock
in Miller’s limited-overs career, as the South African, who has been part of the
national ODI team, could find himself in the final fifteen for the ICC
Champions Trophy taking place in England in June.
A double strike in the first over had
Punjab in disarray on 5 for two.
Adam Gilchrist was caught behind for four
in the first over off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, then in the next over mystery spinner
Ajantha Mendis trapped Azar Mahmood in front for a duck.
Singh and Manan Vohra led the recovery
efforts with an impressive 53-run third-wicket partnership off only 33 balls.
Vohra was bowled by Yuvraj Singh for 22 as
Punjab slumped to 58 for three in the seventh over.
Miller was composed throughout his innings,
treating the slow bowlers and the seam bowlers with equal contempt.
His straight hitting, as well as his sixes
over extra cover and midwicket, were impressive.
Earlier, Finch slammed 64 (42 balls) with
eight fours and two sixes and set the pace during the early part of the innings
as the Warriors reached 124 for one after 15 overs.
Yuvraj was destructive against the slower
bowlers, hitting 34 off 24, but his fine knock was overshadowed by an explosive
cameo from Wright that yielded 34 off ten balls.
The Warriors scored 61 in the final five
overs as the mediocre attack suffered terribly at the hands of Wright, who hit
with six fours and a six.
Azhar Mahmood finished with 2-42, but his
mediocre death bowling was exposed by Wright.