|Scorecard:||Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals|
|Player:||SE Marsh, Yuvraj Singh, JR Hopes, PP Chawla, NK Patel, Kamran Akmal, YK Pathan|
|Event:||Indian Premier League 2007/08|
DateLine: 29th May 2008
The last match of the league stage of the DLF IPL had the top placed Rajasthan Royals take on the second placed Kings XI Punjab, and although both had qualified for the semi-finals, this was going to be a cracker of a match. And it turned out just that!
Shane Warne rested himself from this match, and Shane Watson took over, who won the toss and decided that his team would field first. This seemed to be the decision that Shaun Marsh was waiting for, as he, in the company of his opening partner James Hopes took the opposition bowling to the cleaners. Marsh completed yet another half century in the tournament, and Hopes followed suit before getting dismissed by Yusuf Pathan, with the score reading a mind-boggling 133 in the 14th over. Yuvraj Singh had not been looking in that great touch in the tournament, or he was probably not getting enough chances, however, today he made mincemeat of the attack. Marsh looked ominous and he went on to complete his first century of the IPL – in the process winning the orange cap and become a serious contender for the Man-of-the-Series too – while Yuvi scored a 49 off only 16 deliveries.
The target of 222 was never going to be easy for the Royals, and surprisingly they sent in Mohammad Kaif to open with Niraj Patel. Kaif did not last long, nor did debutant Younis Khan, and though captain Watson and Patel added 49 runs, it only difficult as the inning progressed. Yusuf Pathan smashed a 15-ball 39 in the end – to boost his chances for the ODI selections that happen in a couple of days from now – but in the end it was too difficult an ask, as the Royals surrendered the match by 41 runs. Irfan Pathan conceded only ten runs in his four and picked up a wicket; where as Piyush Chawla scalped three.
Shaun Marsh was the obvious choice for the Man-of-the-Match award, as he scored the sixth century of the IPL. Now, the Kings face the Super Kings, where as the Royals face the DareDevils in the semi-finals.
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