x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Marsh gets one over on Warne as Punjab dominate

The Australian batsman has rarely scored heavily off his former teammate but hit three sixes in yesterday's game, which Kings XI won by 48 runs over Rajasthan.

Shane Warne, the Rajasthan Royals captain, left, watched in dismay as Adam Gilchrist, right, and Paul Valthaty put on a 67-run partnership for the first wicket in just 4.2 overs in Mohali last night. Manan Vatsyayana / AFP
Shane Warne, the Rajasthan Royals captain, left, watched in dismay as Adam Gilchrist, right, and Paul Valthaty put on a 67-run partnership for the first wicket in just 4.2 overs in Mohali last night. Manan Vatsyayana / AFP

Shaun Marsh enjoyed a rare opportunity to dominate Shane Warne, his Australian compatriot, last night as Kings XI Punjab recorded a comprehensive 48-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter in Mohali.

Marsh acknowledged that in the past he had often struggled against the nuances of Warne's leg spin, but he more than made up for that with an excellent display with the bat.

He smashed three sixes off Warne as he charged to a score of 71 to help Punjab to a huge total of 195 for seven - the highest in this year's IPL competition to date.

Rajasthan were then derailed by Praveen Kumar's double strike early on as the visitors finished at 147 for seven.

Marsh, who was man of the match, said in his post-match interview: "It is the first time I have got a few off him [Warne], usually he gets me out pretty early.

"I do enjoy playing here, it is a great place to play cricket. I am having a lot of fun at the moment."

Batting first after losing the toss, Paul Valthaty and Adam Gilchrist made the most of early let offs - both dismissed off no-balls - as Punjab raced to 50 off just 17 balls.

Valthaty blasted 25 runs off Siddarth Trivedi's second over and Gilchrist matched his partner's aggression with a six and a four off Warne in the next before lifting Shaun Tait straight to mid-off to end the stand.

It was a momentary respite for the Royals as Valthaty and new man Marsh tormented the bowlers with a flurry of boundaries and left the crowd ducking for cover as the ball flew into the stands from all angles.

Valthaty greeted Warne with a six after the first interval, but the veteran leg-spinner soon removed the right-hander, whose 46 off 31 balls made him the leading run-scorer of the tournament so far with a total of 245.

Marsh and new man Dinesh Karthik added 70 off 38 balls. Marsh hit a trio of sixes off Warne while Karthik hit three fours off the next over from Trivedi, whose four overs cost 59.

At this stage Rajasthan were certainly staring down the barrel, but Watson and Tait brought the visitors back into the game by dismissing Karthik (21 off 16 balls) and Marsh (71 off 42) respectively.

The momentum then shifted towards Warne's side as Punjab managed just 26 in the last five overs against some tight bowling from the Australian pair, who shared five wickets between them to give themselves a glimmer of hope.

Chasing Punjab's huge total of 195 for seven, Rajasthan were derailed by Praveen Kumar's double strike early on as the visitors finished at 147 for seven.

Chasing a mammoth 196 for victory, Rajasthan stuttered, losing three early wickets including the dangerous Watson (24 off 16 balls), who became Praveen's second victim.

Piyush Chawla dealt a huge blow by trapping Ross Taylor lbw as Rajasthan limped to 61 for four at the halfway stage, with Stuart Binny and Ashok Menaria left to score at more than 12 per over.

The pair added 50 off 29 before Ryan McLaren dismissed Binny (30 off 24), but the ever-mounting asking rate meant Rajasthan were fighting a losing battle.

The equation was soon down to 78 required off 24 balls and the chance of an unlikely victory was snuffed out when Menaria (34 off 26 balls) holed out in the 18th over.

Spinner Bhargav Bhatt snared Abhishek Raut (25) and Dishant Yagnik and Warne survived the remaining five balls but could not avoid the inevitable defeat.

It was a third successive victory for Punjab, and Glichrist, their captain, acknowledged things could have been very different had he and Valthaty not had their reprieves off no balls.

"Two for five is a fair distance from being nought for 40," he said in his TV interview.

"Paul backed himself, and Shaun was brilliant."

A frustrated Warne also believed that the beginning of the game had been the turning point in proceedings.

"Not the ideal starts. two no-balls could have been two wickets," he said. "After that we lost our way. Adam and Paul played really.

"We pulled them back a bit, but we got off to an ordinary start ourselves.

"We got outplayed, we didn't do a lot of basic stuff well."

* Agency