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Ken Borland

Hussey & Praveen prove their worth

Posted on May 08, 2012 by Ken

David Hussey and Praveen Kumar proved their worth as bowlers in the shortest version of the game as they led the Punjab Kings XI to a 25-run victory over the Deccan Chargers in their Indian Premier League match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Tuesday.


Praveen takes swing bowling to new artistic levels and was rewarded with outstanding figures of 2-15 in four overs as the Chargers, chasing 171 for victory, struggled to 145 for eight.

Hussey, who has proven himself an independent thinker as captain standing in for the injured Adam Gilchrist, brought himself on to bowl the 11th over and changed the course of the match as he removed fellow Australians Daniel Harris (30) and powerful hitter Cameron White (8) and conceded just two runs in his only over.

Praveen made a top-class start with the new ball, conceding just six runs in two overs and claiming a vital wicket in Shikhar Dhawan (8), who edged a ball that nipped away to a wide slip.

Parthiv Patel came in and hit a four and a six off Parvinder Awana, but then picked the wrong ball to swish to leg and was bowled for 17.

Harris showed better selection in his 30 off 29 balls, notching two fours and a six, but he then failed to read off-spinner Hussey and sliced a delivery that went straight on to backward point.

White, whose recent form has given him prominent space in the newspapers, then heaved Hussey to cow corner, where another Aussie, Shaun Marsh, had plenty of time to contemplate the steepler before taking the catch.

Unfortunate Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara (4) will be sorry he has such tremendous skill as he then managed to get an edge to an outrageous delivery from Praveen that would have beaten most batsmen all ends up. It swung sharply across the left-hander, hitting the bat near the shoulder and wicketkeeper Nitin Saini clung on to a great catch high to his left.

The Chargers were 75 for five after 12 overs and the Kings XI had no pity for Deccan as they limited them to 70 runs in the last eight overs and claimed three more wickets.

The lower-order was ill-equipped to tackle a required run-rate of 12 an over, unless the Kings XI suffered an extraodinary implosion in the field.

But the Punjab bowlers remained impressive till the end and the visitors were slick in the field as well. The Chargers were grateful for some late defiance from Akshath Reddy (24) and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (19) otherwise they probably would have suffered the ignominy of being bowled out inside 20 overs.

The Kings XI moved up to fifth in the IPL log and stated their playoff ambitions in no uncertain terms, with Awana (4-0-27-2) and the canny Azhar Mahmood (4-0-31-0) the other bowlers to shine.


Young Mandeep Singh had earlier come to the fore as he steered the Punjab Kings XI to 170 for five.


Newspapers the length of India will be raving about the 20-year-old Mandeep, who played a great hand on a tricky pitch, scoring 75 off 48 balls, with eight fours and three sixes.

Mandeep, one of the new wave of young Indian batsmen waiting to succeed the great current generation, was ruthless against anything a touch short and also played some beautiful drives as he gave the Kings XI a fine start after they were sent in to bat.

With Marsh scoring 22, Punjab had reached 86 for two at the halfway mark and lost their way a bit in the second half of their innings.

Part-time off-spinner Dhawan sent Marsh on his way in the seventh over as the Australian left-hander didn’t read the arm-ball, and one could only pity Saini (2), who received a poor lbw decision from umpire Kumar Dharmasena as he missed a googly from paceman Ashish Reddy.

Ashish bowls his slower ball out of the back of the hand, but unfortunately tends to overdo the delivery and was expensive as a result, conceding 39 runs in his four overs.

Captain Hussey scored a handy 16 before he gave a catch to long-off from the bowling of Veer Pratap Singh, but Mandeep continued with his adventurous, bold innings until the 16th over, when he got a bit excited lining up Ashish, missed a slower ball and was bowled.

As the end of innings neared, South Africans David Miller and Rusty Theron took centre stage.

Pietermaritzburg-raised Miller hit the ball high and handsome as he finished the innings with 28 not out off 18 balls, allowing Punjab to at least set Deccan a stiff target.

The batsmen had an uphill task scoring runs against Theron at the death, however, as the seamer kept them guessing with his array of variations accurately delivered.

Theron’s last two overs cost just 12 runs, leaving him with final figures of 4-0-29-0.

The loss of the dangerous Azhar, who had gone untroubled to 14 off nine balls, was another reason why Punjab missed out somewhat in the closing overs. The Pakistan all-rounder was run out after slick work by Ashish and bowler Theron, but the Chargers’ fielding was once again generally poor and something they desperately need to work on.

Off-spinner Jhunjhunwala (2-0-12-0) bowled tidily up front, but the Chargers were put on the back foot almost immediately as Veer conceded 18 runs in the second over.

Medium-pacer Harris also bowled a tight line in conceding just 15 runs in his two overs in the second half of the innings.

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