Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab
After 47 days of gruelling and competitive cricket, the two teams left standing –Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab – will battle it out in the Grand Finale of Pepsi IPL 2014 to lay their hands on the coveted IPL Trophy and for the winner’s purse.
It has been a spectacular turnaround for the Kolkata Knight Riders, who managed just two wins from the five matches they played in the UAE leg of Pepsi IPL 2014.
Things looked gloomier for Gautam Gambhir’s team when they lost their first two matches after the tournament returned to Indian shores.
But since then, they not only forced their way into the Playoffs on the back of seven consecutive wins but also sailed through to the title clash by defeating table-toppers Kings XI Punjab in the first of the Playoff matches.
Kings XI Punjab has been the best team so far this season; they finished the league season with the most wins and were the first team to seal a place in the Playoffs.
A defeat at the hands of KKR in Qualifier 1 meant KXIP had to overcome a second hurdle – in form of the Chennai Super Kings – in Qualifier 2, which they did in style.
After being put in to bat, KXIP – riding on the back of a magnificent century by Virender Sehwag – posted 226 runs on the board, and then held their nerves to restrict their opponents to 202.
Tournament finals are meant to be contests between the two best teams – and that is certainly the case where Pepsi IPL 2014 is concerned.