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By Bharath Ramaraj
May 23, 2014
Despite losing wickets at regular intervals against Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab‘s batsmen played with fearless courage during the early part of their innings in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. Rajasthan bowlers did make a fine comeback in the middle overs, but George Bailey and David Miller with their pyrotechnics in the end overs helped them to a score of 179 runs for the loss of four wickets on the board.
It was Virender Sehwag, who gave them a flying start by smashing Vikramjeet Malik’s medium pace bowling all over the park. He finally got out to the all-rounder James Faulkner‘s bowling caught by Malik. Manan Vohra took over from him by playing sparkling shots himself. The way he stood tall at the crease to smash Shane Watson with a flick shot between wide long on and deep mid-wicket region just gave a glimpse of his talent. He though was run out just when it seemed like he was about to get a big score. He was run out with him not even grounding the bat.
It was then Shaun Marsh, the left-handed batsman who showed his ability to time and place the ball into gaps. The way he stepped out of the crease to cleanly strike Rahul Tewatia for a six was perhaps shot of the day. Unfortunately for him, he lost his wicket to Vikramjit’s Malik for a well made innings of 40 off 35 balls. To make it worse for him, as soon as he got out play was stopped due to rain. Once Marsh got out, David Miller the left-handed batsman known for playing eye-catching shots came into bat. For Rajasthan, their bowlers generally bowled with decent control. James Faulkner, the all-rounder though came in for some severe punishment.
Earlier, Rajasthan won the toss and elected to bowl in their crucial game against table toppers, Punjab in IPL 2014. Sehwag and Vohra opened the batting for Punjab. It was Malik who opened the bowling for Rajasthan. Sehwag though, showed his class by clouting Malik through the off-side for a boundary.
Sehwag continued on his merry way by clouting again through backward point for a boundary. He ended the over with another six off Malik’s bowling. A fine start by Punjab for sure. Skipper Shane Watson bowled the second over of the game. Manan Vohra joined the fun by smashing a boundary as well, off Watson’s bowling.
It made Watson think, and he bowled a fine bouncer to keep the batsmen at bay. He also took a heavy toll on James Faulkner’s bowling by smashing him for a boundary. But Faulkner came back to take Sehwag’s wicket, caught by Malik. A much needed wicket for Rajasthan.
Kings XI Punjab 179 for 4 in 20 overs (Shaun Marsh 40, David Miller 29*; Rahul Tewatia 1 for 24) vs Rajasthan Royals.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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