Gony, Ntini lay King's XI low, restrict them to 112-8

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Mumbai, May 31 (UNI) A superb opening burst by Makhaya Ntini and Manpreet Gony laid King's XI Punjab low as they could manage only 112 runs for eight wickets in their allotted 20 overs in the second semifinal against Chennai Super Kings in the DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede stadium here today.

Chennai Super Kings now need only 113 runs at just over five and a half runs per over to complete a win and earn the right to clash with Rajasthan Royals in the final of the inaugural IPL to be played at the D Y Patil stadium at Nerul near here tomorrow.

Ramesh Powar was unbeaten on 28 and Sreesanth was on 0 when the King's XI Punjab completed their 20 overs.

Opting to bat first on winning the toss, King's XI Punjab started off on a bright note with Shaun Marsh crashing off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who opened the bowling to the cover fence for a boundary. However, Makhaya Ntini sharing the new ball got rid of James Hopes in the second over when the Australian tried a extravagant drive through the off side and only managed to get an edge through to the keeper Parthiv Patel to depart for 2 with the score on 8.

Dhoni's experiment with Muralitharan opening the bowling ended with just one over from the spin wizard as Gony replaced him and immediately he gave his captain a wicket when Kumar Sangakkara was snapped up behind the wickets by Parthiv Patel for 3 to leave Punjab King's XI in all sorts of trouble at 11 for 2.

Shaun Marsh at the other end continued his good form as he became the first batsman to reach 600 runs in this tournament hooking Ntini for a huge six and then following it up with a lucky four as an inside edge took the ball past the leg side to the fine leg boundary.

However, captain Yuvraj Singh also fell soon pulling a delivery from Manpreet Gony straight to the midwicket fielder where Muttiah Muralitharan made no mistake to dismiss the left hander for just 4 runs with King's XI at 28 for three.

Six runs later, Punjab lost Shaun Marsh as he tried to pull a delivery which was not short enough from Makhaya Ntini only to get a bottom edge which went on to dislodge the stumps. Marsh made 23 in 17 balls with three boundaries and a six with his side on 34 for 4.

Soon it was 40 for 5 as Irfan Pathan was run out in a horrible mix-up with Mahela Jayawardene as Pathan wanted a third run with the former looking at the fielder. Ntini from the deep through at the bowler's end where Gony had the easiest of run-out's to effect.

Pathan made 3.

Jayawardene was then dismissed by Albie Morkel as Dhoni's bowling changes proved spot on flirting with a delivery outside the off stump to get an edge through to Parthiv Patel for 10 as King's XI Punjab scorecard presented a sorry 45 for six.

Piyush Chawla was also soon dismissed as he was foxed by Muralitharan to be bowled for 12 to leave Punjab King's XI gasping for breath at 63 for seven.

The two local boys in the Punjab King's XI side Wilkin Mota and Ramesh Powar then tried to bring some sort of respectability to the innings as they put on 35 runs for the eight wicket before Mota was caught by Suresh Raina running in from long off with Morkel being the bowler. Mota made 25 in 26 balls with two boundaries.

Ramesh Powar brought up his team's 100 in the last over with a pulled four as he took runs of Balaji's last over to help King's XI push up their score to 112 for eight wickets. Powar remained unbeaten on 28 of 22 deliveries with four boundaries and a six, while Sreesanth was unbeaten on 0.

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