Sangakara, Marsh put Kings Eleven in respectable position

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Kolkata, May 25 (UNI) Prolific run machine Kumar Sangakara and Shaun Marsh put up a rocksolid second wicket partnership of 83 runs in 57 balls to set a challenging target of 175 to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the DLF-IPL T20 cricket match at the Eden Gardens here tonight.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Kings Eleven lost their first wicket very cheaply, when James Hopes returned to the pavilion on his personal score of 13 after being plumb off Umar Gul.

Stung by the initial setback, the Punjab team went all out with their two mercurial bats Kumar Sangakara and Shaun Marsh, who made a mockery of the Riders bowling and put up a second wicket partnership of 83 runs in 57 balls.

While Marsh notched up 40 in 31 balls with three fours and two sixes, Sangakara paid scant respect to the host bowlers and piled up 54 invaluable runs in just 45 balls with the help of seven hits to the fence and two glorious sixes.

But after their departure, Punjab wickets fell like ninepins.

Only captain Yuvraj Singh spared no pains to put his team in a commanding position scoring 27 runs. But, he was unfortunately run out, when Riders keeper Wriddhaman Saha's direct throw hit the stumps.

Riders speedster Umar Gul's late burst put a brake on the Punjab's progress and the Pakistani returned with a fabulous figure of four wickets conceding 23 runs in the stipulated four overs.

Gul was on a hattrick, when he castled first Irfan Pathan and then Piyush Chawla, but Tanmay Srivastav defied the pacer from chalking up the third hattrick of the IPL tourney.

Tonight's 174 for six was the highest score at the Eden Gardens in the IPL tournament as the earlier highest was 149 for five by the host team against Chennai Super Kings, in which the Riders lost the game by Duckworth and Lewis method after rain washed out the play.

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