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Punjab end league phase on a winning note, beat Rajasthan by 41 runs
May 28, 2008 23:39 IST
Last Updated: May 29, 2008 01:00 IST
The win, Punjab's 10th in 14 matches, had no effect whatsoever on the league standings though. Rajasthan, despite suffering what was their third loss in 14 matches, finished on top of the table with 22 points, two ahead of second-placed Punjab.
Chasing a mammoth 222 to win, and with Graeme Smith [Images] and Swapnil Asnodkar being rested, Rajasthan got off to a terrible start losing Mohammad Kaif (1) and Younis Khan (3) inside five overs.
Niraj Patel (57) and Shane Watson (22) put on 49 runs for the third wicket before the former, who was again impressive in his 39-ball knock that contained 10 boundaries, was cleaned up by Piyush Chawla.
Watson also fell to Chawla, while trying to accelerate, but thereafter Yusuf Pathan (39) and Kamran Akmal (24) treated the crowd with some exquisite hitting.
The brief stand (33 runs) ended when Akmal, whose eight-ball knock included a four and three huge sixes off Sreesanth [Images], became Chawla's third victim.
Rajasthan needed 61 runs off the final three overs, and that, proved to be a tough ask, much tougher than their initial target.
Yusuf Pathan's 15-ball knock, that contained three hits to the fence and three huge ones over it, was brilliantly caught by Shaun Marsh off James Hopes in the penultimate over. Hopes also caught Dinesh Salunkhe (6) off his own bowling in the same over.
Rajasthan needed 44 off the last over from Irfan. And they got just two.
Rajasthan ended at 180 for seven.
Earlier, Marsh notched up his maiden IPL century to power Kings XI Punjab to a massive 221 for three.
The left-handed Australian was in a furious mood and punished all the rival bowlers to all corners of the park as he produced a scintillating 115-run knock off just 69 balls.
His amazing century, sixth of the tournament, was studded with 11 fours and seven sixes.
Marsh went back to the hut in the last over while trying to smash Watson for a big shot.
Skipper Yuvraj Singh's [Images] late blitzkrieg helped the team get past 200 run-mark. He hit a blazing 16-ball 49-run cameo before getting run out on the last ball of the innings.
The Punjab southpaw smashed two four and half a dozen sixes, including three consecutive in Siddharth Trivedi's over and shared a 80-run stand with Marsh for the second wicket.
Earlier, Marsh together with opening partner Hopes (51), who hit an elegant half-century, provided a rollicking start to the Punjab team after being sent in to bat by rival skipper.
Together they put up 133 runs for the opening wicket, which was best for the Kings XI Punjab in the tournament.
Marsh was at his best as he displayed an array for mesmerising shots all around the park.
The left-handed Aussie played furious cut shots, elegant straight and cover drives, fierce pulls and raced away to his sixth half-century of the tournament in just 27 balls.
He pulled leg-spinner Salunkhe for a boundary on the leg side to get to his fifty and in the process became the highest run-getter in the tournament.
All the bowlers were at his mercy as he hit them at will, giving enough headache to Watson, who was leading the side in the absence of Shane Warne [Images].
He brought up his hundred after facing 58 balls when he got a single off Pankaj Singh's over, 17th of the innings.
Hopes did not get much strike initially and played a second fiddle to Marsh yet played an important part in laying the strong foudation for the big score.
Hopes opened up later and hit paceman Trivedi for three consecutive boundaries in the 11th over to bring the 100 for the hosts off just 63 balls.
He then lofted Yusuf Pathan for a huge six on the leg side in the 12th over and stole a couple a ball later to reach his third IPL fifty consuming just 30 balls.
However he fell to the same bowler when he tried to hit him for the maximum, did not connect well, and ended up in the hands of Salunkhe in the deep.
But by then he added 133 runs with Marsh in 13.4 overs, decimating the rival attack with his individual 35-ball 51-run knock, including seven fours and a six.