Pune Warriors Finally End Losing Run

Pune Warriors Finally End Losing Run
Pune Warriors Finally End Losing Run
©REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Pune Warriors 120-5 (Yuvraj Singh 35) beat
Kings XI Punjab 119-8 (Marsh 32) by 5 wickets
Indian Premier League 2011, Chandigarh

Pune Warriors ended their seven match losing streak in the Indian Premier League 2011 with a five-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at Mohali.

It was only their third win in ten games and it also consigned Punjab to last placed in the league table, severely denting their hopes of making it to the play-offs.

Kings XI chose to bat first after Yuvraj Singh lost the toss on return to his home ground. Paul Valthaty started the way he has played throughout the season and even Adam Gilchrist’s wicket didn’t bother him much. He made 23 runs off 22 balls, including four fours, but couldn’t capitalise on his start.

Both openers were accounted for by leg spinner Rahul Sharma who has enjoyed some success despite Pune’s horrendous run. The score was 50 for two in the eighth over and there was still a lot to do.

Shaun Marsh had come to the wicket after Gilchrist’s early dismissal but he couldn’t string together a big partnership. With Valthaty he only added 25 runs for the second wicket while only 30 runs came for the third wicket partnership with Dinesh Karthik. He top scored in the innings, making 32 runs off 28 balls with three fours and one six, but he got out when Kings needed him to go on.

David Hussey and Karthik went in quick succession too, and they lost three wickets for twenty runs in three overs. It affected the overall run rate and their total in the end as Pune for once made good on their start to the game. None of the other batsmen reached double figures and Kings could only manage 119 for eight in their 20 overs.

It was only a par score to chase down and Pune were always going to be in the hunt. Sourav Ganguly fans were disappointed again as Jesse Ryder and Manish Pandey were persisted with. The duo put on 32 runs for the first wicket and when Ryder fell in the fifth over.

Robin Uthappa was out in the tenth over, having made 22, and at the halfway stage the score was 69 for two. The match was still very much theirs to lose but Pandey and skipper Yuvraj Singh were in a hurry. Yuvraj gave something to the fans to cheer about as he made a quickfire 35 off 15 balls, with five fours and two sixes, driving them ever close to the finish line.

They eventually won in the 18th over, tasting victory after a long wait.

Chetan Narula

© Cricket World 2011