Marsh, Mascarenhas take Punjab to first win
England's Dimitri Mascarenhas notched up a sensational five-wicket haul while Shaun Marsh hit a classy fifty as Kings XI Punjab brought their campaign back on track with a seven-wicket victory over Pune Warriors in an IPL match here today.
Sent into bat, the Warriors were dismissed for a modest 115 in 19 overs, courtesy a deadly spell by Mascarenhas who claimed five wickets for 25 and was well-supported by Harmeet Singh (2/23) and Piyush Chawla (1/23).
Mascarenhas picked up the wickets of Sourav Ganguly (16), Marlon Samuels (2), Robin Uthappa (17), Mithun Manhas (31) and Rahul Sharma (2) after hosts Punjab won the toss and inserted the visitors.
The hosts then returned to overhaul the target with 14 balls to spare with Marsh hitting an unbeaten 64 off 54 balls studded with seven fours and one six. Skipper Adam Gilchrist (21) and Chawla (21) were the other notable contributors.
With this win, Punjab avenged their first leg defeat to the Warriors at Pune and also spanned their two-match losing streak, where they had also lost to Rajasthan Royals.
Punjab began their run chase on a faulty note when hero of last year's edition, Paul Valthaty was removed of the very first ball by pacer Ashok Dinda, who has looked impressive this season.
After the initial blow, skipper Gilchrist along with his Aussie compatriot Marsh, who made a comeback in this game after injury, tried to steady the innings.
However, Gilchrist fall at the end of eight overs when Anjelo Mathews had him caught by Steven Smith.
A few overs later, spinner Rahul Sharma earned his only scalp with Mandeep Singh (10) falling in the 12th over, handing over a catch to Smith. (3-70).
After that Marsh along with Chawla ensured their were no more hiccups. Luck was also by his side as Marsh got lives, with a golden run out chance going abegging by Jesse Ryder when he failed to collect the ball cleanly to dislodge the stumps.
As Marsh was inching towards half-century, he was dropped by Dinda off the bowling of Ashish Nehra. However, the Australian made good use of the chances and saw his team through in the end.
Earlier, there was a hint of movement in the wicket after overnight rains and the hosts made good use of it as they bowled a good line to make life difficult for Pune, who had beaten them in their first leg match.
Pune suffered their first blow when New Zealand's Jesse Ryder (7), who tried to steal a cheeky single, was run out in the third over.
However, it was Mascarenhas who dealt the massive blow when in the sixth over, he had Ganguly caught by Marsh of the leading edge. The former India skipper's nine-ball innings was laced with three fours.
Mascarenhas then struck again in the same over when he had struggling Samuels bowled out on an incoming delivery.
Uthappa, who looked in good form in the previous two games, tried to hold one end as wickets kept tumbling and Pune was tottering at 3-29 at one stage.
Medium-pacer Harmeet Bansal, who has been bowling intelligently, tasted success in his first over when he had Sri Lankan import Angelo Mathews (11) in the ninth over.
Mascarenhas once again came back to inflict more damage when he had Uthappa (17) caught by Bipul Sharma (5-77) in the 13th over.
Middle-order batsman Manhas was the top-scorer for Pune and his 28-ball innings included three hits to the fence and a six, but he also fell to Mascarenhas in the 18th over while trying to play a sweep shot over the short fine-leg region.
In the same over, Rahul became Mascarenhas' fifth victim when he had him caught by Mandeep Singh. Ashok Dinda was the last man out when he was found short of wicket in the last ball of the 19th over.
Leg spinner Piyush Chawla also played his part and picked up a wicket when he cleaned up Steven Smith (13) in the 16th over. Manish Pandey (0) offered little resistance giving Harmeet his second wicket.
For Punjab, medium pacers Praveen Kumar and Parvinder Awana also bowled a tight line, giving away 19 and 18 runs respectively, though both remained wicketless at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here.
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