IPL 2014, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): Road to IPL 7 final

Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI Punjab topped the points table winning 11 out of 14 matches in the league stage. Chennai Super Kings at mid-way of the tournament did overtake Kings XI Punjab, but KXIP fought their way back to top. Here is a recap of how KXIP ruled the roost and made their maiden entry into IPL final possible

UAE leg

Kings XI Punjab emerged as the only unbeaten team in first part of the IPL winning all their five encounters defeating Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Glenn Maxwell was star performer as he notched three consecutive half-centuries with knocks of 95, 95 and 89. In UAE KXIP set foot right and occurred as strong contenders to make it to playoffs. From chasing heavy targets to defending small totals KXIP did it all. The UAE leg completely belonged to KXIP as they put on collective and superlative performances.

India leg

With undefeated tag on their back Kings XI Punjab suffered a blow in their very first match on Indian soil. Mumbai Indians who could not manage to win a single game in UAE defeated KXIP by five wickets at Wankhede. KXIP in next match bounced back to defeat CSK and Glenn Maxwell once again was the difference between two sides as he scored 90 off just 38 balls. KXIP then lost to KKR their second defeat in league stages, but again rose to the occasion to win two back to back games and cement their place in playoffs. KXIP lost both its clashes against MI, the only team KXIP could not beat in IPL7. In last two fixtures at home KXIP defeated DD and RR to finish top of the table with 22 points.

Playoffs

Kings XI Punjab met Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 1 and lost by 24 runs in a match threatened by rain. Luckily, having topped the league stages they got second shot at finals and faced Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2. CSK won the toss and elected to field first. Virender Sehwag’s blistering 122 took KXIP to an Everest total of 226-6 in 20 overs. CSK could only manage to score 202 in their 20 overs thus lost the match by 24 runs and KXIP marched to finals.

This is for the first time that Kings XI Punjab will feature in IPL final. The farthest KXIP have gone in IPL is semi-final that too way back in inaugural season where they lost to Chennai Super Kings.    

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