Pune Warriors 192-3 (Ryder 86) beat
Delhi Daredevils 172-7 (Sehwag 57) by 20 runs
Indian Premier League 2012, Delhi
Pune Warriors, led by the exemplary Sourav Ganguly, put in a stellar performance to upstage Delhi Daredevils by 20 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.
The Indian Premier League 2012 pace-setters were upstaged by Pune, who proved that their earlier performances were no fluke with an accomplished performances.
Delhi won the toss and elected to field first. Soon enough they realised that they had made a mistake as Jesse Ryder gave Pune a ballistic start. Despite losing Robin Uthappa early, he hit the ball with maximum power, also aided by the pace of Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav.
Ryder hit four massive sixes in his innings of 87, including seven fours as well, and was instrumental in helping Pune pile up a huge score. He found most help in Sourav Ganguly who was out to prove his critics wrong.
Ganguly scored a brisk 41 off 35 balls, overcoming a sluggish start, and hit five boundaries and a six. He put on 93 runs with Ryder for the second wicket, providing a platform for the final flourish.
That was provided by Steve Smith who smacked 34 runs off only 13 balls, with four fours and two sixes. Delhi conceded 44 runs in the last three overs as the total soared to a mammoth 192.
Usually teams would fancy chasing such totals given the history of the competition. But the pitch at Delhi isn’t the most helpful for batsmen and it was already quite a shocker that Pune had managed so many.
To go one better would have been simply astounding, and Delhi decided to give it a go. Mahela Jayawardene opened with Virender Sehwag but the move backfired as the Sri Lankan captain was out for seven.
Kevin Pietersen then came to the crease and the duo put on 75 runs for the second wicket in only seven overs. They hit a barrage of fours and sixes as the match seemed to be flowing out of Pune’s grasp.
Pietersen made 32 off 23 balls, with one fours and three sixes, when Ganguly played his smartest card. He came on to bowl himself and uprooted Pietersen’s off stump, albeit the ball keeping a bit low. That was the opening Pune were looking for and they didn’t allow Delhi a sniff after that.
Ganguly then accounted for Irfan Pathan, out trying to slog, while Sehwag was scalped by Murali Kathik. He made 57 off 32 balls, hitting five fours and four sixes in all and when Ross Taylor was out only for 12, the match was well and truly over.
This was only the second loss for Delhi, but with Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings and Pune, all on eight points, the tournament is as close as it has ever been.
© Cricket World 2012