Cricinfo: Indian Premier League 2008
Cricinfo



10th match: Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians at Mohali, Apr 25, 2008

Classy Sangakkara inspires rout

Kumar Sangakkara

The scene was a glitzy, throw-your-bat-at-everything Twenty20 game but Kumar Sangakkara chose classic Test cricket shots to mark his presence at the IPL and give his side a reasonable chance of winning their first match of the tournament. Though he hit out at the end of the innings, and missed getting a hundred, Sangakkara managed to overtake Brendon McCullum as the tournament's leading run-scorer.

His first scoring shot was a drive through extra-cover for four. The manner in which he perfectly transferred his weight from back to front foot and then arrested his follow-through halfway through the shot may have seemed out of place in such a setting but no one was complaining.

Sangakkara used his wrists to reach his fifty - off 23 balls - with a cut-glide to point and to flick to fine leg. It was a treat to watch him bat along with his Sri Lankan team-mate Mahela Jayawardene, who thrilled with an equally wrist-driven flick for four to fine leg. Jayawardene, though, didn't stay for long, and was caught for 12 trying to sweep fine.

Besides the absence of any ungainly slogs, what stood out during Sangakkara knock was his ability to keep the scoring rate up despite losing wickets regularly at the other end. Though Punjab’s next highest scorer made only 18, they reached a formidable 182 thanks to his 94.

After losing their first two games, Punjab were languishing at the bottom of the table and Sangakkara’s outstanding innings was just the tonic they needed to get their IPL campaign on track.


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