Shaun Marsh (KingÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s XI Punjab): He came into the tournament unheralded and the only thing that cricket fans knew about Shaun Marsh was that he was the son of former Australian opening batsman Geoff Marsh. At the end of it all, the left handed opener, who turns 25 next month, was the batsman of the tournament, running up a tally of 616 runs ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– the best in the competition ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– with a century and five half centuries. Even more impressive was the average (68.44) and the strike rate (almost 140). It was significant that when Marsh was out early in the semifinal KingÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s XI Punjab went out with a whimper. But for the rest of the tournament, he was at his sparkling best finding the gaps with superbly executed strokes or timing the lofted shots to perfection ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– with a tally of 26 sixes he was second to Sanath Jayasuriya in the big hitting department. His 115 against Rajasthan was the fourth highest score in the tournament and his brilliance with the bat was the chief reason for his team finishing second in the points table and making it to the semifinals. His great run in the high profile tournament will no doubt go a long way towards earning Marsh the baggy green ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– something he is very keen on donning.
Text: Partab Ramchand
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