Mohali: Rejoicing at his team's first win in the IPL this season, Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist credited his bowlers and fellow Australian batsman Shaun Marsh for the seven-wicket victory over Pune Warriors India here on Thursday. Dimitri Mascarenhas, who took a five-for, and Shaun Marsh, who struck an unbeaten 64, were the heroes of Punjab's first win.
"Dimitri was spot on and challenged the batsmen all the time. He put the ball in the right spot and was really supported well by the whole bowling unit," Gilchrist said after the match. After two consecutive losses, Punjab opened their account by chasing down a modest 116-run target set by Pune.
English pacer Mascarenhas became the first bowler for Punjab to take five wickets in the IPL. He was supported well by Harmeet Singh and Piyush Chawla, who also chipped in with two and one wicket respectively.
After Mascarenhas took a five-for in KXIP's win over PWI on Thursday, Shaun Marsh struck 64 not out.
Gilchrist also heaped praise on Marsh, saying he is a prolific run-getter. "It is wonderful to see him back in action. He missed the last game because of back strain and now he is back with full fitness. If you take a whole lot of things into account, [then] he is the most successful batsman in the IPL history," the skipper said. He also added that his decision to field first on Thursday was guided by the damp conditions after Mohali was lashed by rain on Wednesday night.
"On Wednesday afternoon, it didn't look like the wicket was doing too much. But after the big storm and a lot of moisture around, it [the ball] seemed to move. I knew the decision to bowl first was a bit risky as in our previous two games we bowled first but didn't manage to get any momentum going [while chasing]," he said.
Despite chasing a modest total, Gilchrist felt his side was up against a good bowling attack [of Pune] and had to make sure that "there was not going to be too much of a panic [during the run-chase]".