Marsh & Sangakkara Partnership Too Much For Chargers
Deccan Chargers 175-4 (Gilchrist 50, Sharma 50, Gibbs 44)
Kings XI Punjab
178-4 (Marsh 60, Sangakkara 51)
Kings XI Punjab won by six wickets
By Pierce Morley-Barnes
Half-centuries from Shaun Marsh and Kumar Sangakkara paved the way for the Kings XI Punjab to beat the Deccan Chargers by six wickets in a high-scoring 48th game of the Indian Premier League in Mohali.
The Deccan Chargers posted 175 for four as they finally showed what they could do before the Kings XI made it to 178 for four in the final over.
Slow and steady was how Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs took to the Kings XI Punjab bowlers at the start of the innings, but later accelerated after getting their eye in thanks to some big hitting from the two openers and a superb cameo role from Rohit Sharma.
Yuvraj Singhï¿½s side slowed the run rate down with some tight spin bowling during the middle overs, but Sharma showed why he was one of the stand out players of the tournament as he moved up to third in the DLF maximum six hitting competition.
The talented Sharmaï¿½s fifty came from just 26 balls and included four sixes as he seemed to time everything from the moment he came to the wicket.
Earlier, Gilchrist had hit a calm 50 for his standards and Gibbs finally showed what he could do as he blazed three sixes during his brisk 44.
The pick of the Kings XI Punjab bowlers was off-spinner Ramesh Powar who took one for 20 and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth who bowled well for his one for 29 and was on the whole unlucky.
The Kings XI also enjoyed a swift start courtesy of openers Shaun Marsh (60) and Kumar Sangakkara (51) who added 84 runs in just 46 balls.
The pair shared five sixes before Rohit Sharma had Sangakkara caught by Chamara Silva. Yuvraj Singh (17) and Luke Pomersbach (13) entertained with cameos and when Marsh was also out, caught by Gibbs off of Scott Styris, the Deccan Chargers thought they were back in the match.
Not so, as Mahela Jayawardene (14 not out) and Piyush Chawla (16 not out) smashed sixes off of Styris before Chawla hit the winning runs with a boundary in the final over.
ï¿½ Cricket World 2008
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