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The Pune Warriors put an end to their 2 game winless run with an inspiring 20 run win over hot favourites Delhi Daredevils at their home turf at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday night. After being put in to bat Pune put up a sterling performance led by opener Jesse Ryder (86) and skipper Sourav Ganguly (41) to post a daunting 192/3 on board in their allotted overs. In reply, Delhi lost promoted opener Mahela Jayawardene early but recovered with aggressive innings' from Virender Sehwag (57) and Kevin Pietersen(32) before an inspired spell of bowling by Sourav Ganguly (2-27) which included the prized wicket of Kevin Pietersen, got Pune back on top, following which they finished off the game diligently to take a comfortable 2 points from the league toppers.
Match 27 of the DLF IPL 2012 saw two very confident and high performing teams, the Delhi Daredevils and the Pune Warriors take each other on at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Saturday night. The home skipper Virender Sehwag started well by winning the toss and opting to field on what looked like a slightly moist wicket. Both teams made just the one change to the sides that last featured with Delhi going for an extra left arm spinner in Pawan Negi for Ajit Agarkar and Pune bringing in an extra bowler in Alfonso Thomas for allrounder Marlon Samuels.
The Pune Warriors after being put in, didn't get off to the most ideal of starts as Robin Uthappa played out the first over from Irfan Pathan for a maiden. Uthappa was then dismissed for 10, caught behind in the fourth over from Morne Morkel. Ryder though, threw the kitchen sink at nearly everything in the powerplay and got away with all of it with plenty of reward too. He grabbed 12 off the first over from Morkel and then combined with Skipper Sourav Ganguly to dent the unlucky South African's figures further by edging him away for 19 in his next over. Thanks to that carefree Pune assault, the Warriors motored to 52/1 after 6 overs and set a good platform for the rest of the innings.
Ganguly and Ryder managed to settle down after a rather hurried start after the powerplay and continued to build a strong foundation. Ryder knuckled down and picked up the ones and twos on offer while Ganguly seemed to have found some much needed form. Both left handers captalised on their luck early on and punished the bad balls on offer. Ganguly looked good hitting down the ground and square on the leg side off the spinners. The pair successfully put on a massive 93 runs off just over 10 overs for the 2nd wicket before Ganguly (41) holed out to long on off Morne Morkel. After 15 overs, Pune were well set for a late overs onslaught on 125/2.
The in-form Steve Smith was promoted to No.4 to partner Jesse Ryder at the death and the ploy worked very well for Pune. Smith wasted no time in getting some big shots away as he looked to attack in the 'V'. Ryder had his eye in and was striking the ball beautifully too, which helped Pune to a formidable total. No bowler was spared in the in the last five overs as both the batsmen cut loose with 8 wickets in hand. Thanks to a blitz from Steve Smith (33* from 14) and a fine 86 from Jesse who only fell in the last over, Pune posted a fine 192/3 in their 20 overs which will test even the mighty Delhi batting line up to the fullest on a wicket that seemed to keep a little low as the game progressed.
The Delhi Daredevils were dealt a big blow early on in their chase as Alfonso Thomas picked up the experienced Mahela Jaywardene (7) as the latter played a loose cover drive straight to Smith at extra cover. The most prolific Daredevils batsman in the last few games Kevin Pietersen then joined the other opener Virender Sehwag to repair the innings and also accelerate towards the mighty total. The dynamic duo wasted no more time as they got stuck into the Pune attack straight away with great skill and freedom. Both players struck the ball down the ground with great ease and power. Consequently there were a flurry of boundaries from both ends and within no time they put on an exhilarating 75 off just 7 overs to get Delhi right back in the game.
With all the bowlers tried going for plenty, Ganguly brought himself on to break the ominous looking partnership and the move worked instantly. The very first ball from Ganguly kept low and sneaked under a booming shot from Pietersen (32) to peg back his off stump. After 10 overs though, the game was very much in the balance with Delhi on 92/2 and Sehwag going all guns blazing.
The dismissal of KP brought the big hitting left hander Irfan Pathan to the crease and he only managed to add 17 for the 3rd wicket with Sehwag before holing out on the deep midwicket boundary to Ganguly again for 15. Pune then struck the body blow 3 balls later as Murali Kartik beat the well set Delhi skipper Sehwag in the flight and took a very sharp return catch to send him back after a blistering 57 from 32 balls.
Kiwi right hander Ross Taylor finally walked out to bat at No. 6 along side the youngster Pawan Negi at 115/4 with the side still needing a hefty 78 runs to win off just 45 balls. Negi though fell in the very next over owing to a horrible mix up and was run out for 8. It was all upto Taylor now to see the team home, but it wasn't to be his night. Taylor departed for 12 in the 18th over, mistiming a hoick to long on off the bowling of Alfonso Thomas.
Despite a valiant attempt by Yogesh Nagar (24) and Naman Ojha (11* off 6) at the very end it was too big an ask for the duo and Delhi fell well short by 20 runs in the end, thanks to some good death bowling by Thomas.
It was, however, an inspired spell of bowling from skipper Sourav Ganguly when the game was slipping away that earned Pune an unlikely win. He returned with commendable figures of 4-0-27-2. The Pune Warriors will look to carry this confidence forward when they face the same opponents Delhi in the return leg at home on Wednesday, the 25th of April.
Delhi: V Sehwag, N Ojha, K Pietersen, M Jayawardene, R Taylor, Y Nagar, I Pathan, P Negi, U Yadav, M Morkel, S Nadeem
Pune: J Ryder, R Uthappa, S Ganguly, S Smith, A Mathews, M Pandey, R Sharma, M Kartik, A Thomas, B Kumar, A Nehra
Pune Warriors 192/3 (20 overs, 9.51 runs per over)
J Ryder 86(58) M Morkel 3/50
S Ganguly 41(35) I Pathan 0/25
Delhi Daredevils 172/7 (20 overs, 8.6 runs per over)
V Sehwag 57(32) A Thomas 3/22
K Pietersen 32(23) S Ganguly 2/27
Pune win by 20 runs
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