Shah Rukh Khan was the man in focus after Kolkata Knight Riders won the IPL crown for the second time in three years at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. Manish Pandey was architect of Kolkata's win with a 50-ball 94. The innings helped KKR chase down Kings XI Punjab's 199/4. Pandey won the Man of the Match award for his brilliant effort.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh was ecstatic after Sunday's win. When KKR made the final in Kolkata last week, Shah Rukh painted Eden Gardens red with somersaults and flying kisses. Having won a final that went all the way to the wire, Shah Rukh was all praise for young Pandey.
In an interview to iplt20.com, Shah Rukh said: "I told my whole family in the morning that Manish Pandey is going to win this match for me."
Pandey's 94 was the second highest by a Kolkata batsman in IPL, the highest being 158 not out by Brendon McCullum against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 18, 2008. This was Pandey's 10th fifty in Twenty20 apart from a hundred.
Kolkata's total (200/7) was the highest successful chase in an IPL final. It was also the highest by a team chasing a target in the final of Twenty20 match. "This one tonight had to be won. I had my Quran in my pocket and we had to win it," said Shah Rukh.
Shah Rukh said the credit for the IPL win entirely belonged to the team. "I don't play the game and I know nothing about it; they all do the hard work. They are the caterpillars who do all the hard work and I am the butterfly who takes the publicity," an elated Shah Rukh said.
The Badshah of Bollywood will be in focus again on Tuesday when the Knight Riders celebrate their IPL win at Kolkata's Eden Gardens. Along with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, it will be a Shah Rukh Khan show for sure.