Shaun Marsh hit a brilliant unbeaten half-century to guide Kings XI Punjab to a six-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in an IPL match, here on Sunday.
Marsh, who scored 68 off only 40 balls, paced his innings nicely as the Kings XI, chasing MI’s competitive score of 163 for 6, reached the target with three balls to spare.
Kings XI needed 20 runs in the last two overs and Munaf Patel seemed to have swung the game a bit towards MI’s way with his first four balls of the 19th over before the left-handed Marsh swung the fifth, a short one, over mid-wicket for a six.
The timely hit brought down the winning target to nine from the last over and off the first ball of the 20th over bowled by Thisara Perera, Marsh struck a six over point which proved to be a decisive blow.
In all, the Australian batsman hit five fours and three sixes and his innings provided the visitors with only their third victory in the season in seven games while dumping the home team to their fourth defeat in the same number of matches.
Shaun Marsh's well-paced innings helped Kings XI beat Mumbai Indians. Pic/AFP
The second successive home defeat for MI kept their points tally to six while the victory brought Kings XI at par with them on points.
Earlier winning the toss and choosing to bat first, MI posted 163 for six courtesy a 51—ball—79 by James Franklin.
The lanky left—handed batsman opened the innings with the fit—again Sachin Tendulkar (23. Tendulkar played only his second game of the tournament after missing four in between, put on a half century stand for the first wicket and then added a quick—fire 75 runs in just 36 balls with Dinesh Karthik (35 in 20 balls) to pave the way for the competitive score.
The momentum of the Mumbai Indians’ innings was lost once Dinesh Karthik who hot a quickfire 35 off 20 balls was dismissed. Having scored 71 runs in the five overs between 11 and 15, the last five overs yielded only 34 runs.
Kings XI commenced the run—chase briskly with openers Nitin Saini and Mandeep Singh putting on 48 runs before the former was out in the second ball after the end of Powerplay.
Mandeep gave the chase the initial push by cover driving and cutting Munaf Patel for two fours and Saini followed suit by carting the India bowler for two more fours that prompted him to retort with a verbal volley at the batsman.
It needed the intervention of the umpires and MI skipper Harbhajan Singh to calm down the bowler but he is sure to face the reprimand of the match referee for his second offence in the tournament.
He had been fined a portion of his match fees in the game against Deccan Chargers on April 9 in Vishakapatnam for questioning the umpire’s decision along with his captain.
Left—arm spinner Pragyan Ojha drew the first blood as he beat Saini’s defensive prod trapping him leg before for 30 off 25 balls with five boundaries.
Mandeep fell three overs later when he was caught pulling Kieron Pollard at the deep midwicket fence by James Franklin before Australians Shaun Marsh and make—shift captain David Hussey put the visitors on the victory path with a half—century stand for the third wicket.
MI skipper Harbhajan was struck for three fours in his second spell by the duo with Hussey edging him for the first boundary and the left—handed Marsh square cutting and then sweeping the off—spinner for two successive fours.
When left—arm medium pacer Rudra Pratap Singh came back to bowl the 15th over, he was punished for 16 runs, with Marsh ending the over with a straight six into the stands.
After 15 overs Kings XI were 119 for 2, needing only 45 runs in the last 30 balls. Hussey fell in the second ball of the 16th over off Pollard’s bowling.
At the end of the over the Kings XI needed 44 from 24 balls. But Ojha’s poor bowling coupled with those of Munaf and Perera gave enough chances for Kings XI batsmen to scamper across the line with three balls to spare.
When the game started, MI began on a sedate note before stepping up the pace in the rest the Powerplay period of six overs to make 39 for no loss.
At the half—way stage of the innings, MI had advanced to 58 for two before Franklin and new batsman Dinesh Karthik increased the scoring tempo.
Franklin smashed Bhargav Bhatt for two sixes off the first two balls of the 12th over, over long—on and then over mid—wicket, before Karthik struck the slow bowler for another four as 19 runs came off it. Karthik then struck rival stand—in skipper David Hussey for two fours in successive balls.
Franklin reached his half century in 38 balls that contained four hits to the fence and two over it, before MI raced past the 100 in the 13th over.
The New Zealander, not among the runs in the previous games he had played, had struck a purple patch and slammed his earlier tormentor Praveen Kumar for two huge sixes and a four off successive balls as the bowler returned for his second spell to bowl the 15th over in which 21 runs were added.
However, poor understanding in running between the wickets resulted in Karthik, who was also looking good for a big score, being run out off a throw from the boundary line by Shaun Marsh when the batsman attempted a second run. His 35 included five hits to the fence.
Karthik’s wicket slowed down the scoring rate and MI also lost the big—hitting Kieron Pollard to a catch on the boundary line in a further blow to their hopes of making 170—plus.
Mumbai Indians: 163 for 6 in 20 overs (James Franklin 79, Dinesh Karthik 35; Parvinder Awana 2/23, Praveen Kumar 2/36).
Kings XI Punjab: 164 for four in 19.3 overs (Shaun Marsh 68 not out; Kieron Pollard 2/14).