Mohali Marsh past Hyderabad
A brilliant performance from Yuvraj Singh's team saw them romp home to a comfortable 7-wkt win over Hyderabad. A report by Arjun Sen.Updated: May 02, 2008, 02:13 IST
They might have started sluggishly, but Mohali, it seems, have come together quite beautifully in the IPL. A brilliant all-round performance from Yuvraj Singh's team saw them romp home to a comfortable seven-wicket win over a Hyderabad team for which this competition is turning out to be a nightmare, to say the least.
Having got only 164, the hosts needed some early wickets to make a match of it, but the Mohali bats, and opener Shaun Marsh, in particular, were in no mood to undo the good work their bowlers had done. They batted sensibly, kept the scoreboard ticking over with singles and never let a bad ball go unpunished. Led by a beautifully paced innings of 84* from Marsh, Mohali overhauled the Hyderabad total with as many as seven balls to spare.
It is never easy to get into the groove in your first game of a competition, but Marsh showed no nerves whatsoever, launching into an attack on the home bowlers right from the first over. The southpaw at ease both against pace and spin, did not give the bowlers even the slightest ray of hope.
And though there was a mini collapse of sorts, when the visitors lost Ramnaresh Sarwan (15) and Kumar Sangakkara (3) within four runs of each other, the 24-year-old Marsh showed why he is rated very highly back home in Australia, as he continued his calculated onslaught.
And though Mohali never looked like losing the plot, or the game, the home bowlers didn't exactly bowl with a lot of conviction. They sprayed the ball on either side, giving the batsmen far too much room to free their hands. The likes of RP Singh and Nuwan Zoysa were erratic, while the back-up of Shahid Afridi, Sanjay Bangar and D. Kalyankrishna were, to put it kindly, poor.
But even the bad balls have to be put away, and Marsh did that without fail. Seldom, if ever, was a long hop left unpunished. A batsman, whose style is very similar to that of his Mohali teammate Simon Katich, Marsh went about his job with the least bit of fanfare. Giving him able support was Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who upped the scoring rate and piled on the misery on the already hapless Hyderabad bowlers.
It was never going to be for Hyderabad, and no matter how much Laxman changed his bowlers, the fact was he and his bats did not have enough on the board to defend.
And even the total they finally reached was largely thanks to a superlative effort from the young Rohit Sharma.