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Cricket | IPL

Fierce Marsh 50 takes Punjab to win



Shaun Marsh bashed a thrilling half century as the Kings XI Punjab sealed a superb six-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.

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The Australia batsman finished unbeaten on 68 from 40 deliveries to help the visitors chase down the 164 victory target with three balls to spare.

Nitin Saini (30 off 25) also played his part with the victory snapping a two-match losing streak for Punjab.

Earlier, James Franklin hit a maiden IPL half century to help the Mumbai Indians post 163 for six, with his 79 off 51 deliveries including four sixes and six fours.

The New Zealand all-rounder shared in a key 75-run partnership with Dinesh Karthik (35 off 20) in just six overs to lift the hosts after a quiet start.

Sachin Tendulkar, returning to the side after a four-match absence due to a finger injury, made 23 off 23 balls.

But the total proved too low for Punjab, with Saini and Mandeep Singh providing them with a solid start in reply with a 48-run partnership to open the innings.

Their stand lasted 6.2 overs before wicketkeeper Saini was trapped leg before wicket by Pragyan Ojha in the same over the visitors went past 50.

Mandeep Singh (24 off 21) fell in quick succession when he heaved the miserly Kieron Pollard (2-14) high towards deep mid-wicket where Franklin took a simple catch.

Punjab were 75 for two at the halfway stage, but Marsh and David Hussey (21 off 19) rebuilt superbly in a 58-run stand for the third wicket from 6.2 overs.

They took their side past the 100 in the 14th over and with 45 needed from the last five overs, the pair in the middle looked in control.

But Hussey then skied Pollard to Ambati Rayudu, who took a good catch running around to set up a tense finish.

Marsh went to his 50 in 33 deliveries with a four through extra cover, before losing another partner when Azhar Mahmood (10) struck Ojha down the throat of Thisara Perera at long-off.

But Marsh, who smashed three sixes and five fours in his knock, struck Munaf Patel for a critical six with eight balls to go as Punjab completed the win.

MUMBAI INDIANS: AT Rayudu, SR Tendulkar, RG Sharma, KA Pollard, KD Karthik (wk), JEC Franklin, NLTC Perera, Harbhajan Singh (capt), PP Ojha, RP Singh, MM Patel

KINGS XI PUNJAB: N Saini (wk), SD Chitnis, SE Marsh, DJ Hussey (capt), DA Miller, Azhar Mahmood, Mandeep Singh, PP Chawla, BA Bhatt, P Kumar, P Awana

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