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Pune finally pick up a win as KKR title reign ends

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The Kolkata Knight Riders' title defence of the Indian Premier League ended in disappointing fashion in Ranchi on Wednesday night as they were beaten by the lowly Pune Warriors by 7 runs in an exciting contest. Batting first the Pune Warriors posted a competitive 170-4 in their 20 overs on the back of a good 66 from Manish Pandey. The Kolkata Knight Riders were on course for victory needing 23 from the last 14 balls when Yusuf Pathan, who was batting on 72, was given out for obstructing the field and KKR never really recovered, falling short by a handful of runs in the end.

After a low-scoring battle last Sunday, the cricket lovers in Ranchi hoped to have a far more exciting contest on Wednesday afternoon, one which would ideally keep hosts Kolkata Knight Riders in the race for the play-offs. Meanwhile it had been exactly one month since Pune Warriors India had won a game, and they were desperate to change that statistic.


KKR won the toss and opted to bowl first. They had resisted the temptation to make any changes and stuck to their winning combination, while the Warriors made five changes that included Raiphi Gomes, Luke Wright, Ali Murtaza, Ishwar Pandey and Wayne Parnell coming in for Abhishek Nayar, Kane Richardson, Parvez Rasool, Ashok Dinda and Ajantha Mendis.

The Pune Warriors' top four finally all scored some runs with Robin Uthappa making a quickfire 25 before being bowled by Senanayake. Aaron Finch (48) and Manish Pandey (66) added another 58 for the second wicket before Pandey teamed up with Yuvraj Singh (30) to share another 65 run stand. Both Pandey and Yuvraj fell in the final over, but not before they put Pune in contention in this contest.

KKR in contrast made a poor start, losing their top 3 with just 29 runs on the board with Wayne Parnell grabbing a couple of early wickets. Yusuf Pathan (72) and Ryan ten Doeschate (42) dug them out of a hole, adding 98 for the fourth wicket before the latter was run out.

KKR looked good for the win with Pathan hitting some form, smashing the ball to all parts, but the batsman in the heat of the moment got into a tangle with Parnell, and was adjudged to have intentionally kicked the ball away from the bowler, a decision that could have well gone either way.

KKR's local talent - Das, Tiwary and Bhatia - failed to see the team home despite the finishing line being in sight with Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling an outstanding penultimate over in which he conceded just 4 runs to take Pune to victory.

Both teams have just one game left this season with KKR visiting the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday while Pune host the Delhi Daredevils in the battle for the wooden spoon on Sunday.


PW: A Finch(c), R Uthappa(wk), L Wright, Y Singh, A Mathews, M Pandey, R Gomes, W Parnel, B Kumar, A Murtaza,  I Pandey.

KKR: M Bisla(wk), G Gambhir(c), J Kallis, M Tiwary, Y Pathan, R Ten Doeschate, D Das, R Bhatia, L Balaji, S Narine, S Senanayake


Mini Scorecard:

Pune Warriors India 170-4(20 overs, 8.5rpo)

M Pandey 66(47) S Senanayake 1-22

A Finch 48(32) L Balaji 1-41.

Kolkata Knightriders 163-7(20 overs, 8.15 rpo)

Y Pathan 72(44) W Parnell 2-34

R Ten Doeschate 42(30) I Pandey 1-17

PWI win by 7 runs