New Delhi: Sourav Ganguly shone with both bat and ball as Pune Warriors India ended Delhi Daredevils’ good run, beating the Virender Sehwag-led side by 20 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Saturday. Ganguly scored 41 in his side’s total of 192 and then picked up 2 for 27 in a four-over spell that proved decisive.
Chasing 193 to win, Delhi lost their course midway through their innings after a threatening stand between Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen was broken by Pune captain Ganguly.
After losing Mahela Jayawardene early for 7, Sehwag and in-form Pietersen added a 42-ball 75 to keep the hosts in the hunt. Pietersen, who hit a match-winning 103 not out in the last match against Deccan Chargers, was in imperious touch as he hit Angelo Mathews for three successive sixes in the sixth over. Ganguly broke the partnership against the run of play, cleaning up the Englishman for 32.
Irfan Pathan and Sehwag made merry for a brief period but when both departed in quick succession – with Ganguly accounting for Pathan and Murali Kartik accounting for Sehwag – things looked really bleak for Delhi. Sehwag (57 off 32 balls) hit his first fifty this season, while Pathan made 15. New Zealand captain Ross Taylor failed to live up to his big-hitting reputation and when he departed for 12 off 13 balls in the 18th over, it was all over for the hosts, who could only go as far as 172 for 7. Alfonso Thomas took three wickets to be Pune's best bowler.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, Pune got off to an edgy start with Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder adding 26 runs in 3.5 overs before the former fell prey to Morne Morkel’s rising delivery as Naman Ojha took a regulation catch behind the wicket. But after that, Ryder and Ganguly, who had failed in the previous matches, took over and smashed 93 runs off 63 balls for the second wicket.
Morkel brought about Ganguly’s departure for 41 but it brought no relief for the Delhi bowlers as Aussie Steven Smith soon joined the pudgy Kiwi in the big-hitting act, both adding 67 off just 32 balls. The 18th over of the innings, bowled by young spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, yielded 23 runs with Smith taking two sixes and two fours off the left-armer.
Just when it looked Pune will easily reach 200, Morkel struck once again as he cleaned up Ryder for 86. The left-hander took 58 balls to score his runs and hit seven fours and four sixes. Smith played his part to perfection with a 13-ball 34 not out as Pune’s innings ended at 192 for 3. For Delhi, Morkel took all the three wickets but he had an uneconomical day at the office, conceding 50 runs in his four overs.
Despite the defeat, Delhi retained their top spot in the table on net run-rate with four wins in six matches, while Pune moved up to third after their fourth win in seven matches.