Valthaty, a surprise inclusion in Kings XI team, was sent to open the Kings XI inning to chase the highest total of 2011. His century closed CSK’s dominance over his team and opened Kings XI chances for the knockout.
Gilly Sent CSK to Bat
Gilchrist won the toss, and unlike many other captains, and asked CSK to bat. Dhoni was delighted, as he also wanted to bat. Praveen Kumar opened the bowling in the same way as he did against Pune Warriors in their first match, knocking the opener out on the first ball of match. Superstitious owner Zinta might have felt sad with the thought of another loss. But, Praveen struck again on 2nd ball. Now the prey was mercurial dangerous Suresh Raina.
Murali Vijay was still waiting for his turn. Badrinath joined and both of the started the innings afresh. Soon, their hits took the match out of Punjab’s range. Vijay departed after adding 124 runs. But there was no relief. Dhoni came and blasted 43 runs in just 20 balls. Finally CSK reached the highest score of 2011, 188/4. All was almost lost for Kings XI, considering they could not even reach 150 against Pune Warriors.
Valthaty Hits Knocking Punch
Valthaty, the new opener for Kings XI took the battle on. First he added 61 runs with Gilchrist in just 6 overs. Gilly scored just 19 runs in that partnership. With his departure, the hopes again bent low. 2008 Purple Cap Shaun Marsh also ran himself out and Kings XI luck dipped further. Sunny Singh and Abhishek Nayar also could not provide much hope. Soon, Karthik joined after fall of 4th wicket at 136. Valthaty was still fighting the lone battle. With Karthik, Valthaty went on to score the 1st century of IPL 2011 and won only the second match for Kings XI Punjab against defending Champion Chennai Super Kings in 8 clashes.
Valthaty – Player of the Match
The match was a no-contest. CSK was set to register 7th win against Kings XI. Glchrist also could not do anything. But, his decision to play Valthaty paid, as the opener single-handedly enforced defeat on the strong Super Kings. His undefeated 120 is the 2nd highest score of IPL. His 19 fours are the maximum in an innings by any player in IPL history.