Paul Valthaty again produced the goods with four wickets and then a stunning 136-run opening stand with Adam Gilchrist as the Kings XI walloped Deccan by eight wickets in Hyderabad.
The Chargers were well set for a major total before Valthaty entered the attack to claim four for 29 in his four overs as the home side were restricted to 165 for eight. The 27-year old then combined with Adam Gilchrist as both opening batsmen collected half-centuries to fire the Kings XI to a remarkable eight-wicket success.
Extra spice was added to the clash as both captain faced off against their former IPL teams, and it was Gilchrist who drew first blood by winning the toss and electing to field first.
Opposition skipper Kumar Sangakkara however would have been the happier after the opening quarter of the game as he and Chargers’ opener Sikhar Dhawan overcame the early loss of Sunny Sohal to power the home side to 81 for one after ten overs. Deccan were cruising with the pair at the crease but, just as they seemed to be taking the game away from the visitors with a partnership worth 75, Sangakkara holed out to deep square leg to be out for 35. Just five balls later Dhawan (45 from 36 balls) followed his captain to become Valthaty’s first victim and the Kings XI were back in the contest.
JP Duminy (18) and Bharat Chipli (12) made useful contributions down the order before Dan Christian’s valuable innings of 30 from just 14 balls gave the Chargers fresh momentum.
Valthaty however was to have the final say as he removed Christian and then Amit Mishra to finish with four wickets. Introduced as the Kings XI’s seventh bowling option, the medium pacer proved an unlikely bowling hero while Ryan McLaren weighed in with two wickets of his own.
Having announced himself with a stunning 120 not out against Chennai on Wednesday night, Valthaty then seemed determined to prove himself more than just a one-innings wonder with the bat as he and Gilchrist flayed unhindered in a match-winning stand of 136. The partnership lasted just 84 balls with Gilchrist first to reach fifty (from 30 balls) and Valthaty clubbing Duminy for six to go to his half-century off 35 deliveries.
With less than a run-a-ball required and the game virtually won, the men from Punjab were denied a 10-wicket win as Gilchrist holed out to deep square leg off a Amit Mishra long-hop, the Kings XI captain contributing 61 from 46 balls, included five fours and three sixes.
Valthaty meanwhile continued to plunder, collecting his eighth four and fifth six before becoming Mishra’s second victim – the man-of-the-match finishing with swashbuckling and astonishing 75 from just 47 deliveries.
Abishek Nayar and Dinesh Karthik were on hand to finish off the job as the Kings XI reached their target with all of 14 balls to spare. Cricket365