Marsh takes Kings to 9-wicket win

Bangalore's woes compound as they crash to a big loss against Kings XI Punjab.

updated: May 20, 2008 12:57 IST
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A jittery Rahul Dravid arrived at the toss, with lots on his mind. His opposite number, Kings XI captain Yuvraj Singh offered him a memento for good luck. The Bangalore captain won the toss. That was all that Bangalore Royal Challengers won on the night.

Bangalore elected to bat and produced a thoroughly average performance, making 143 at the PCA Stadium here. Kings XI Punjab chased that down with consummate ease in 15.4 overs, with Shaun Marsh again leading the chase with his 74 not out (51 balls, 9x4, 2x6).

Kings XI never gave Bangalore a chance with the bat. Once James Hopes and Marsh had added 42 for the first wicket, Bangalore's last hopes of a comeback faded away. Luke Pomersbach built on that start, while the in-form Marsh impressed again with his variety of shots and high strike rate.

Their 102-run stand kept Bangalore languishing at the bottom of the points table, while Kings XI are now joint-second along with Chennai Super Kings, at 12 points.

The Challengers threatened to get going for the briefest of periods. Misbah-ul Haq, whose name has been thrown around in Bangalore's much publicised recent problems, looked like he would turn their team's fortunes around. Having clobbered his way to 21 from 7 balls, Misbah unluckily walked back on his stumps and was out hit wicket.

Mark Boucher, like he has done throughout his career, provided some rearguard action with his 39 (31 balls, 4x4, 1x6), hanging in there till the penultimate ball of the innings. Their top order had been rocked by another polished performance from Sreesanth (3-29), who picked up J Arunkumar, Misbah and Praveen Kumar.

Dravid's innings itself lacked purpose. His mind clouded with their team's various off-field problems to go with the on-field ones, he scored 29 from 27 balls, once nearly running Boucher out. Dravid's wicket left Bangalore at 102-5 in 16 overs. The innings had had no momentum to begin with, but with their captain's wicket, their hopes of a decent score departed.

At the other end, Piyush Chawla and Irfan Pathan continued being among the wickets --- a big reason why Kings XI have done so well. Chawla, hit for 13 off his first two legit deliveries, got Virat Kohli bowled and Craig White caught and bowled. He finished with 4-0-33-2 while Pathan was economical, his figures reading 4-0-23-1.

Irfan and Sreesanth now lead the wicket takers list in the IPL, with 13 each, along with Zaheer Khan, while Chawla is No. 3 on the list of top strikers with 11.