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Wednesday, May 27th

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Miami Heat 118 v Milwaukee Bucks 95

Riding on LeBron James’ 33 points, the Miami Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks 118 – 95. James has now scored in double-figures in 503 straight games. He is just the fifth player in NBA history to reach the 500 mark.

Dallas Mavericks 105 V Washington Wizards 95

Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points to move into 16th place on the NBA all-time scoring list, passing Jerry West (25,192), helping Dallas Mavericks to beat The Washington Wizards 105-95. Nowitzki second highest International scorer after Hakeem Olajuwon, Nigeria (26,946 points).

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With the spot-fixing scandal far from cold as yet, the IPL was dealt another blow on Tuesday when Sahara decided to pull out of its sponsorship of the Pune Warriors due to a financial dispute with the BCCI. The decision was made after the BCCI encashed the team’s bank guarantee after the Sahara group failed to pay the franchise fee on the appointed date.

Each franchise has to furnish a bank guarantee at the start of every season equal to the amount they have to pay to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) annually. Sahara, however, were unable to meet the payment deadline of May 2, forcing the BCCI to encash the guarantee once Pune's participation in IPL 6 ended on May 20.

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The Subrata Roy Sahara stadium in Pune was the venue of the battle for the wooden spoon as the Pepsi IPL 2013 entered its last day of the League stages. The ignominy of that tag went to the Delhi Daredevils, who were humbled by the Pune Warriors by 38 runs in a virtual no contest, thus suffering their 6th defeat on the trot.

The two captains Aaron Finch for PWI and Mahela Jayawardene for DD turned out for the toss one final time in this edition and the spin of the coin favoured the Pune Warriors India, who opted to bat first. Pune brought back Ashok Dinda for Ishwar Pandey while Delhi Daredevils brought Bharat Chipli and Shahbaz Nadeem for Unmukt Chand and Ashish Nehra.

Pune got off to a good start with Robin Uthappa in particular playing a wide range of shots early on in his innings. His dismissal for 24 in the sixth over of the game saw his opening partner Aaron Finch take up the task of accelerating the pace of the innings. Finch raced to a half century off 31 balls, but the Pune Warriors then lost Finch and Yuvraj in a matter of a couple of overs.

Luke Wright and Angelo Mathews nudged the ball around for a couple of overs before really getting into Umesh Yadav. Yadav's final over went for 24 runs and he ended with expensive figures of 1-52 from his four overs. Luke Wright was dismissed in the last over of the innings for a 23-ball 44, while Angelo Mathews remained unbeaten on 30 as the Pune Warriors ended on 172/5.

The Delhi Daredevils lost David Warner early on to Wayne Parnell and Mahela Jayawardene soon followed him after scoring 14, as Delhi reached 40/2 after 5 overs. Pune's bowlers kept the pressure up with some tight bowling and it got to the Delhi batsmen as both Sehwag and Chipli fell off successive deliveries to Ali Murtaza, who had figures of 3-0-5-3 at this stage.

Ben Rohrer too fell cheaply but CM Gautam and Irfan Pathan took Delhi from 64/5 to 118/5 before Delhi again lost two wickets in the same over, as both Gautam and Morne Morkel fell to Angelo Mathews. Pathan fell soon after for 24, but Delhi were never really in the hunt, and their innings folded at 134-9, 38 runs short of Pune's total. Luke Wright was named Man-of the Match for his aggressive innings with the bat.

Pune's victory helped them go past the Daredevils on the points table, and avoid the wooden spoon tag this time round (they held the tag in the 2012 edition of the IPL). Delhi ended the competition with only three wins, the last of which came on 1 May, and they had a run of 6 consecutive losses in the competition on two separate occasions.

Teams:

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

DD:  V Sehwag, M Jayawardene(c), David Warner, B Rohrer, B Chipli, CM Gautham(wk),  I Pathan, S Kaul, M Morkel, S Nadeem, U Yadav.

Mini Scorecard:

Pune Warriors India 172-5 (20 overs, 8.6rpo)

A Finch 52(34) S Kaul 2-27

L Wright 44(23) S Nadeem 1-21

 

Delhi Daredevils  134-9(20 overs, 6.7rpo)

CM Gautham 30(24) A Mathews 3-14

I Pathan 24(28) A Murtaza 3-15

PWI win by 38 runs

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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.

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The Mumbai Indians crushed the Pune Warriors by 5 wickets in a low intensity encounter at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune in the early kick-off on Saturday. A poor effort from the Pune Warriors with the bat saw them post a well below par total of 112-8 which Mumbai chased down comfortably enough in the end to reclaim second place in the IPL standings.

In what was the second Maharashtrian Derby of the season, Pune captain Aaron Finch and Rohit Sharma of the Mumbai Indians strode out for the toss. The flip of the coin went the way of the Warriors, who chose to bat first on a typical slowish track. The million-dollar player of this edition, Glenn Maxwell finally made his debut for the Mumbai Indians as Kieron Pollard, who was unwell had to miss out the game. Pune Warriors made five changes, bringing in Abhishek Nayar, Manish Pandey, Kane Richardson, Ashok Dinda and Ajantha Mendis in place of Udit Birla, K Upadhyay, M Rawat, W Parnell and Mitchell Marsh.

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The Pune Warriors' inability to buy a win was on display on Thursday night as the hapless franchise suffered another embarrassing defeat, this time at the hands of the defending champions, the Kolkata Knight Riders.

KKR were hardly in top gear, and struggled to 152-6 in their 20 overs with Gautam Gambhir making a welcome return to form with a half-century, while Dutch international Ryan ten Doeschate finally got a game and made it count, posting a crucial 31 from 21 balls.

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Match 50 of the Indian Premier League lived up to the hype as there was some exceptional cricket on display as the Rajasthan Royals defended their proud home record once again, scripting a final over victory over a battling Pune Warriors side.

Batting first on winning the toss, Pune posted an excellent 178-4 on the back of some outstanding batting from their openers and a late flourish from Mitchell Marsh. Pune's effort though was matched all the way by Rajasthan, whose Indian contingent flourished with Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane scoring half centuries before Stuart Binny's brilliant 32 from 13 balls took his side to victory, and back into 4th place in the IPL Standings.

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