Punjab juggernaut continues to roll, thrash Royals by 48 runs

Punjab juggernaut continues to roll, thrash Royals by 48 runs

Mohali: Shaun Marsh hit a quick-fire 71 and Paul Valthaty smashed 46 runs as Kings XI Punjab spanked Rajasthan Royal by 48 runs to score their third consecutive win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Thursday.

Punjab top-order yet again put up a dominating show and helped the side post an imposing 195 for seven, highest total so far in the fourth edition, after being invited to bat.

Apart from Marsh and Valthaty, skipper Adam Gilchrist (28) and Dinesh Karthik (21) did well for the Punjab on the batting-friendly PCA track.

The hosts then restricted Rajasthan to 147 for seven and jumped to third place in the points table with six points from three wins in four matches.

Punjab had beaten defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and 2009 champions Deccan Chargers in their early outings.

Rajasthan, the 2008 champions, suffered third consecutive defeat and slipped to fifth spot with five points.

The visitors had done well by conceding just 26 runs in the last five overs of the Punjab innings but the total still proved way out of their reach as their batsmen let them down yet again.

A good start was imperative to stand any chance in the contest but the Rajasthan openers -- Rahul Dravid (8) and Swapnil Asnodkar (9) -- failed to do the job.

Big guns such as Shane Watson (24) and Ross Taylor (0) also failed to fire and credit goes to some very disciplined bowling by Punjab bowlers.

Paceman Praveen Kumar (2/22) was very impressive in his opening spell as he bowled Asnodkar early in the innings and saw the back of the dangerous Watson in his last over.

Spinner Piyush Chawla trapped big hitter Taylor for a duck and by the eighth over Rajasthan were out of the contest.

Stuart Binny (30) and Ashok Menaria (34) later hit some lusty shots but their knocks only reduced the defeat margin.

Earlier, Marsh anchored the Punjab innings after the openers -- Gilchrist (28 off 16) and Valthaty (46 off 31) -- provided a flying start by plundering 67 runs in 4.2 overs.

Marsh was supported well by Karthik as the two raised 70 runs for the third wicket but the Australian left-hander could not provide the finishing touches as the hosts fell short of the 200-run mark.