The end of the Indian Premier League season marks two things: the start of the summer and the start of a worldwide case of IPL depression.
Indeed, there’s nothing quite like the Indian Premier League, and though eight teams started the campaign with dreams of lifting the famous trophy six weeks ago, just two now remain as Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders battle it out for the title on Sunday.
Below is everything you need to know about the final, from the date and time to how you can watch the thrilling Twenty20 action unfold:
Venue: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Date: Sunday, June 1
Time: 1:30 p.m. BST
TV Info: ITV 4 (UK only)
Live Stream: ITV 4 website (UK only)
Indian Premier League Play-Offs
After a remarkable season, the IPL served up even more moments of cricket genius in the end-of-season play-offs, where moments of individual and team brilliance saw KKR and KXIP progress to the final.
Here’s the full list of results from this season’s play-offs:
|Qualifier 1||Kolkata Knight Riders (163/8) bt. Kings XI Punjab (135/8) by 28 runs|
|Eliminator||Chennai Super Kings (176/3) bt. Mumbai Indians (173/8) by 7 wickets|
|Qualifier 2||Kings XI Punjab (226/6) bt. Chennai Super Kings (202/7) by 24 runs|
In Qualifier 1, which will be repeated in the final on Sunday, Kolkata’s bowlers produced magic to limit Punjab’s star-studded order to just 135/8.
Morne Morkel’s 2-for-23 haul was bettered by Umesh Yadav’s brilliant 3-for-13, as the fast-medium bowler chalked up 15 dot balls with an economy rate of 3.25.
Man of the Match for today's game is Umesh Yadav for brilliant bowling. 4-0-13-3 ...!!! #KKR— KKR Knight Riders (@kkrofficial) May 28, 2014
Following Wednesday’s victory, Morkel said that he was an admirer of his bowling partner, Yadav, and said that he deserves international recognition—per Indian Premier League:
I am a massive fan of Umesh. We have played together with the Delhi Daredevils and it is fantastic to play with him yet again; this time for KKR. He is a natural athlete. We are close friends and I really hope he can kick on from here and make that spot in the Indian bowling line-up his own.
KKR’s bowlers have been instrumental to the franchise winning eight matches in a row and reaching just their second-ever final, and their contribution was unquestionable in Qualifier 1.
Though Punjab’s talented batsmen failed to get going in that match, they more than made up for it at the second bite at the cherry in Qualifier 2—romping to a 226/6 total against Chennai Super Kings.
The Super Kings progressed after defeating Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator, but they ran out of steam after coming up against an inspired Virender Sehwag.
The 35-year-old produced the fifth-best IPL knock of all time—per ESPNcricinfo—with his 122 from 58 balls steering Punjab to their first-ever final.
However, speaking with the IPL’s official website, Sehwag insisted that the best is yet to come as he targeted glory:
I knew that a big innings was around the corner. But I’d like to believe that the best is yet to come and hopefully it will come in Bangalore in the next game. Let’s hope we play the same quality of cricket in the Final that we have throughout the tournament.
With Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller, Punjab have three of the most lethal batsmen in the competition, putting together 1,445 runs between them over the course of the season—per the IPL website.
Sunday’s battle, then, will a clash of arguably the league’s best batsmen against the league’s best bowlers, though on a surface like the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium’s, a strong bowling outfit will likely prove a distinct advantage.
The pitch favours those have the ability to get swing on the ball, and in Morkel and Yadav, KKR certainly have that.
It’s going to be a tight affair, that much is for sure, but with Kolkata’s bowling depth that includes the likes of spinner Sunil Narine, the final may just be leaning towards their favour.
Last year, Mumbai Indians won the IPL final thanks to an inspirational bowling performance that saw Chennai Super Kings limited to just 125/9. This time around, it’s Kings XI Punjab that face the prospect of being de-crowned, with Kolkata’s winning streak not looking like ceasing.
IPL 2014 champions prediction: Kolkata Knight Riders