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Marsh masterclass leaves Rajasthan gasping

Shaun Marsh turned Australia's innings around with an aggressive half-century Getty Images

Shaun Marsh built on the heroics of Adam Gilchrist and Paul Valthaty as Kings XI Punjab roared to a score of 195, setting up their third win in three games. The Mohali crowd lapped up the entertainment, Shane Warne was reduced to sledging in vain, Elizabeth Hurley had little to cheer by the end, and Preity Zinta could barely contain her glee.

Punjab began furiously, as Gilchrist and Valthaty smashed 67 in 4.2 overs, but the former's dismissal did not affect the scoring rate much. Sanity prevailed for a few minutes as Marsh found his bearings, before he showed that there were non-violent ways to score runs as well. While Marsh finessed boundaries along the ground, Valthaty kept throwing visceral punches in all directions, before he was caught in the 10th over.

Marsh had moved to 21 off 14 balls by then, and he stepped up a gear to ensure there was no let-up in the momentum. Rajasthan's medium-pacers fed him with several full and wide deliveries, while the spinners kept dropping short. Warne was the worst offender, and his lengths were shoddy enough to force Marsh to start playing some uncultured shots over the leg side. The 14th over yielded three sixes in four balls, as Punjab set their sights on 200.

Rajasthan came back in the end overs to keep Punjab under 200, but Marsh's masterclass had ensured only one team was going to win the game. He began gracefully, and finished with some brutal strokes to plunder 71 off 42 balls. Punjab rode the wave to seal an easy win.