Hyderabad:Shaun Marsh made a telling IPL-debut, his compact defence and crunchy offence getting him 84 quick runs in a comfortable, seven-wicket win for the Kings XI Punjab.
The knock was matched only by Rohit Sharma's 76, a 42-ball effort that revived Deccan Chargers Hyderabad and gave them a competitive score of 164-8 after their top order had fallen to luxurious strokes at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
After their openers made a rare good start in the IPL, Kings XI were in a tight spot with three quick wickets. But Marsh, the left-handed son of the right-handed former Australia opener Geoff, joined Mahela Jayawardene (45, 23 balls, 6x4, 1x6) to take his team home with time to spare in the end.
That innings seemed sharp in contrast with Rohit's 76, which was pure counter attack batting with the tail on a two-paced wicket. Surprisingly, still, no seamer on the day walked away with good figures.
Only Piyush Chawla, the leg spinner, had Hyderabad stuttering at 6-98. Rohit's second fifty in the IPL came up off 34 balls, and he hit 10 fours and 2 sixes in all.
Chargers captain VVS Laxman batted silkily for his 48, but there were wickets thrown away by his men. Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs, who had come in for Andrew Symonds, fell for 13 runs between them.
Laxman kept the home crowd entertained with his flowing, lead-footed drives. But he, Shahid Afridi, Venugopal Rao, Sanjay Bangar and Nuwan Zoysa played one horrific shot after another, leaving Rohit to shoulder the burden of scoring.