Port Elizabeth: Irfan Pathan hit the winning run off the final ball to give the Kings XI Punjab a dramatic six-wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League at St George’s Park on Sunday.
Pathan, who finished 19 not out, and former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, who struck an unbeaten 52, shared a fifth wicket stand of 45 runs that steered Punjab to a winning total of 154-4 after Kolkata had reached 153-3.
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Needing a run from the final ball off pace bowler Ajit Agarkar, Pathan pushed to the leg side for one to prevent the match going into a Super Over.
Jayawardene displayed some polished stroke play to collect his first half-century of the IPL, hitting seven boundaries in 41 balls in his man-of-the-match performance.
“My job was to bat until the end,” said Jayawardene. “I had big hitters around me and I ended up batting through.”
Brad Hodge earlier scored a fine 70 not out to steer Kolkata to a competitive score.
In a stuttering reply, Punjab lost a wicket in the very first over when Kumar Sangakkara top-edged a delivery from Ishant Sharma, with his attemptied pull shot being caught by wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk.
Opener Sunny Sohal then got a good length delivery from Ajit Agarkar which he hit directly to Sourav Ganguly at mid on to leave the score on 44-2 in the sixth over.
Simon Katich, who was dropped on five by Chris Gayle, then put on 33 runs with Jayawardene for the third wicket. He faced 28 balls for his 34, hitting three boundaries and a six.
He was dismissed by offspinner Brad Hodge in his first over, caught at deep midwicket by Wriddhiman Saha.
Captain Yuvraj Singh (14) then joined Jayawardene to add 32 for the fourth wicket. He was then removed by Sharma in the 15th over, caught in the deep by Hodge.
Kolkata captain Brendon McCullum, whose team remains bottom of the IPL table after the defeat, said: “I can’t ask more of the way we batted. On another day, with a little bit of luck, we would have got home.”