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Sangakkara shows Kings the way

April 09, 2010 23:57 IST

SangakkaraThey are out of the running for a place in the last four stage, but Kings XI Punjab are determined to end their campaign in IPL 3 on a high.

Captain Kumar Sangakkara showed the way with a gutsy half-century that saw Punjab get the better of Mumbai by six wickets in Mohali on Friday.

With just pride to play for, the hosts looked determined as ever as the bowlers limited Mumbai to a modest 154 for nine in their 20 overs.

Piyush Chawla left the visitors in a spin as he claimed three for 23 in four overs, while Irfan Pathan showed signs of coming back to form with a controlled spell, that saw him taking three for 29.

But it is Sangakkara who deserves praise for introducing the right bowlers at the right time.

For example, he gave Chawla the extra over against Sachin Tendulkar and the move worked as the leg spinner bowled the Mumbai Indians captain.

Mahela Jayawardene (31 from 18 balls) and Adrian Barath (33 from 27 balls) gave Punjab a solid platform, before Sangakkara ensured that his team did not lose their way in the middle overs as has been the case with them in the earlier matches of the tournament.

The left-hander started with a delightful boundary as he charge down the wicket to Harbhajan and drove him down the ground, in the sixth over.

He never let the scoring rate die down and kept the boundaries flowing at regular intervals in the middle overs. Just when the pressure built a bit, he calmed the nerves by hitting JP Duminy for a straight six in the 13th over.

Sangakkara brought up his half-century off 39 balls with a boundary through the covers off Zaheer, whom he hit for three boundaries. He perished soon after getting his half-century when he holed out Lasith Malinga to the fielder at long-off for 56.

But, by then, the match was firmly in Punjab's grasp.

Pathan made sure they finished their campaign at home with a victory.

Photographs: IPL/Getty Images