|< Prev||Next >|
The Pune Warriors, who stunned the Champion of Champions, Mumbai on Friday, produced another clinical performance to tame the Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs in front of a boisterous home crowd at the brand new Subrata Roy stadium. Unafraid to bat first on an untested pitch, Pune posted a competitive 166-6 in their allotted 20 overs. Whilst it was the 81 run impact stand between Man of the match, Marlon Samuels (46) and Robin Uthappa (40) that laid the platform for the eventually winning total, Steve Smith's entertaining 12 ball 25 stole the thunder at the end of the innings. In response, Punjab lost their openers cheaply and good old score-board pressure from the useful Pune bowling attack allowed Ganguly & Co. to call all the shots. Punjab limped to 144-8 to hand Pune a comfortable 22 run triumph. For the hosts, Rahul Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2-34.
The eighth match of the IPL was tipped to be a battle of brains between two veteran captains as Sourav Ganguly's Pune Warriors took to the field against Adam Gilchrist's Kings XI Punjab at the newly constructed Subrata Roy Sahara stadium infront of a packed house. Reinvigorated by their upset win over Mumbai, Pune were up and ready to extend their supremacy over Punjab, still nursing the wounds from their royal drubbing at hands of Rajasthan.Â·AÂ·tumultuous cheer greetedÂ·Ganguly, who won the toss and elected to bat first on a fine batting deck.Â·While Punjab made an enforced change bringing in the experienced Dimitri Mascarenhas for the injured Shaun Marsh, Pune strengthened their line up further with the inclusion of international stars, Ashish Nehra and opener Jessie Ryder. This meant that Wayne Parnell and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar had to cool their heels on the bench.
Ganguly got the hosts going with a couple of inside-edged fours. But, lady luck deserted Pune soon as Ganguly, failing to spot Mascarenhas' slower delivery was caught comfortably at mid-off for 20. The following over, Praveen Kumar effected an amazing direct hit to catch Jessie Ryder (8) short of his crease. The powerplay belonged to the Punjab bowlers, who did not waver from their jobs and kept Pune down to 38-2.
Clearly Gilchrist had done his homework and exhausted Praveen's quota as early as the 7th over. It may be recalled that 25 year old received a pasting in his last outing.
The advent of spin allowed Pune to break the shackles as Marlon Samuels and Robin Uthappa flexed their muscles and engaged themselves in a boundary-hitting fest. The partnership went from strength to strength with the West Indian, the chief aggressor.Â·Samuels got a reprieve when short-cover floored a difficult catch in the 10th over and the West Indian was hell bent to make utmost use of it.Â·Samuels' batting was not just about sheer power, he illustrated some silken shots as well. Â·Meanwhile, his teammate Uthappa notched up the 100 of the innings with a gorgeous four towards third-man. The dashing duo continued to deal in sixes and fours to keep Pune in the hunt for a formidable total.
Pune's hopes suffered a body blow as Harmeet Singh dismissed Samuels (46), Callum Ferguson(3) and Robin Uthappa (40) in quick succession. Harmeet brought his greatest asset, intelligent change of pace, to the fore to cripple the Pune innings. However, the Punjab bowler's day turned sour when he was forced out of the attack for bowling 2 slow waist high beamers. Sensing an opening, Steve Smith (25) cashed in to clobber 3 maximums off Bipul Sharma, who completed the penultimate over. The Aussie all-rounder added one more biggie to his name before his departure to lift Pune to 166-6 in 20 overs.
Paul Valthaty(1), the man responsible for Punjab's resurgence last season fell prey to a needless mis-communication between the wickets without troubling the scorers much. But, Valthaty's sacrifice counted for little as Steve Smith came into the the thick of action again, this time to run-out King Gilchrist (6). The hara-kiri committed by the openers left Pune in choppy waters. Ganguly persisted with his trend of shuffling his bowlers across with awe inspiring expertise.Â·Punjab trudged along to an appalling 19-2 in 6 overs.
Mandeep Singh(24) and Abhishek Nayar struggled to rebuild the innings amidst the mounting pressure. After a shoddy batting display, Ryder redeemed himself by finding the edge of Mandeep's bat and Uthappa completed the formalities behind the stumps to halt the 41 run association.
With 114 required from 10 overs, the game was Pune's to lose. The returning Ashish Nehra joined the party, accounting for Nayar. Bouncing back from an ordinary first spell by his standards, Rahul SharmaÂ·flummoxed Dave Hussey (18) with a skidder that crashed onto the off-stump. Deciding, enough was enough, Piyush Chawla took matters into his own hands, manufacturing 15 runs off Nehra in the 15th over. Chawla fell though a ball later for 16, and the result was by now a forgone conclusion.
Mascarenhas (5) failed to fire, and though Bipul Sharma played a gem of an innings, scoring 35 (18b), all it did was add a touch of respectability to the Punjab innings. Eventually, Pune sealed their second win on the trot to maintain second place in the points table. After a poor 2011, they could not have asked for a better start to their IPL campaign.
The bloodied Kings XI Punjab will seek retribution when the two teams collide again on April 12th. Ganguly, who has transformed Pune into a potent outfit with his astute management of bowlers will inspire his boys to keep up the good work!
PW: S Ganguly(captain), J Ryder, M Pandey, R Uthappa(keeper), C Ferguson, M Samuels, S Smith, R Sharma, A Nehra, A Dinda, M Kartik.
KXIP: A Gilchrist(captain & keeper), P Valthaty, D Hussey, A Nayar, D Mascarenhas, M Singh, P Chawla, B Sharma, J Faulkner, H Singh, P Kumar.
Pune Warriors: 166-6( 20 overs, 8.30 rpo)
M Samuels 46(39) H Singh 3-24
R Uthappa 40(33) D Mascarenhas 1-23
KXIP: 144-8(20 overs, 7.20 rpo)
B Sharma 35*(18) R Sharma 2-34
M Singh 24(23) A Dinda 1-13
Pune won by 22 runs
- 10/04/2012 19:41 - IPL Match 11: Delhi destroy Chennai by 8-wickets with 40 balls to spare
- 10/04/2012 15:33 - IPL Match 10: Kolkata thump Bangalore by 42 runs to get off the mark
- 09/04/2012 19:28 - IPL Match 9: Rohit Sharma hits last ball for 6 to guide Mumbai to incredible win against Deccan