| GEO Sports|
| Punjab trounce Rajasthan by 41 runs|
| Updated at: 2332 PST, Wednesday, May 28, 2008|
MOHALI: The Kings XI Punjab defeated the Rajasthan Royals by 41 runs in the last (56th) Twenty20 league match of the IPL here on Wednesday at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
Chasing a huge target of 222 runs, the Rajasthan Royals accepted the challenge but could reach 180 in the allotted 20 overs for the loss of seven wickets.
Niraj Patel was the top-scorer, making 57 off 39 balls with ten fours while Yusuf Pathan smashed 39 from just 15 balls with three sixes and as many fours. Kamran Akmal also hit three sixes during his brief stay of only eight balls.
From Punjab, Piyush Chawla claimed three wickets for 35 runs while james Hopes got two wickets for 29 runs.
Earlier, the Kings XI Punjab piled up a mammoth score of 221 runs for three wickets after the Rajasthan Royals won the toss and put them into batting.
Opener Shaun Marsh smashed 115 runs off 69 balls with eleven fours and seven sixes. This was his first hundred and the sixth overall in the tournament.
Marsh made 133 runs for the opening stand with James Hopes who gave him valuable support by scoring 51 runs off 35 balls with seven fours and a six.
After Hopes, Marsh was joined by his captain Yuvraj Singh, who blasted 49 off just 16 balls and hit six sixes and two fours. Both added 80 runs for the second wicket partnership.
Shane Warne was rested and Shane Watson led the Rajasthan Royals as stand-in captain. They decided to go with only three overseas players. Younis Khan got his first game and his Pakistan team-mate Kamran Akmal got in too. Mahesh Rawat, the reserve wicketkeeper, was also in the team.
Punjab gave Mahela Jayawardene a rest and brought in Luke Pomersbach while Wilkin Mota also got a chance.
Kings XI Punjab: Shaun Marsh, James Hopes, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Yuvraj Singh (captain), Luke Pomersbach, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar, Wilkin Mota, VRV Singh, Sreesanth.
Rajasthan Royals: Niraj Patel, Kamran Akmal (wk), Younis Khan, Mohammad Kaif, Yusuf Pathan, Shane Watson (captain), Mahesh Rawat, Dinesh Salunkhe, Siddharth Trivedi, Pankaj Singh, Munaf Patel.