New Delhi, Apr 21: Skipper Sourav Ganguly-inspired Pune Warriors stunned Delhi Daredevils by 20 runs in Game 27 of IPL 5 on Saturday night.
Man-of-the-match, Ganguly, excelled with the bat (41) first, then with the ball (2/27 in 4 overs) and his leadership skills to mastermind an upset of table toppers in their own den, Feroz Shah Kotla. Delhi fell short in the 193-run chase to finish with 172/7 in 20 overs. Alfonso Thomas was also a star with the ball, taking 3/22 in 4 overs.
In pursuit of 193, Delhi lost Mahela Jayawardene early. But Kevin Pietersen and skipper Virender Sehwag seemed to be in a hurry to finish off the game. Pietersen smashed Angelo Mathews for three sixes in one over, the sixth of the innings.
Sehwag too accounted for a couple of sixes off Jesse Ryder’s over (8th). With his bowlers leaking plenty of boundaries, Ganguly brought himself to bowl, as the seventh bowler. And what a masterstroke it was.
Ganguly struck with his first ball in IPL 5, as he bowled the dangerous Kevin Pietersen (32, 23 balls, 1x4, 3x6). The ball kept a tad low and disturbed the offstump. The 39-year-old Pune captain was ecstatic as he took off on a celebratory sprint like a teenager, raising his right hand. Ganguly knew how big a wicket it was. This triggered Pune's victory bid.
The former India skipper struck again in his next over, dismissing Irfan Pathan. But this time there was no repeat of that celebration, only raising his arms as if to say “I did it again.”
Ganguly’s previous wicket in IPL was for Kolkata Knight Riders, in 2009, against Kings XI Punjab. Exactly three years ago to this day and 36 matches. On that day in Durban, he had figures of 2/24 in four overs.
Delhi needed 101 from 60 balls. As long as Sehwag was at the crease, Delhi had hopes. But left-arm spinner Murali Kartik struck in the 13th over to send back the Delhi dasher. Sehwag’s (57, 32 balls, 5x4, 4x6) departure was a huge blow for the hosts.
In 3.3 overs, Pune had turned the game around, thanks to Ganguly. Pietersen left on 9.1 overs and Sehwag’s wicket fell at 12.3 overs. In between these two, Pathan was dismissed on 11.6 overs.
The last of the big hitters, Ross Taylor walked in at number six. He was the last hope for Delhi. But the boundaries did not flow often from his bat and Pune bowlers dismissed him and the lower order had very little to prevent the visitors' victory.
Pune Warriors Innings Report
Jesse Ryder (86) registered his highest score in IPL as he powered Pune Warriors to 192/3 in 20 overs against Delhi Daredevils.
Ryder (86, 58 balls, 7x4, 4x6) was assisted well by his skipper Sourav Ganguly, who made a 35-ball 41 with five fours and one six. This total was Pune's highest in IPL.
Ganguly of the old was on view as he played some delightful strokes to entertain his fans. This was his best batting display so far in IPL 5.
After the early exit of Robin Uthappa for 10, Ryder and Ganguly scored at brisk pace to drive Pune towards a big total. Both left-handers were aggressive against Delhi bowlers.
Ryder crossed 200 runs in this edition of IPL. He has been in good nick and the New Zealand opener continued in same fashion.
Ganguly-Ryder partnership for the second wicket yielded 93 runs in 10.3 overs. The pair scored at 8.85 runs per over.
After Ganguly was dismissed, Steve Smith carried on the good work. He too did not lag behind as he hit some big shots in the final overs.
The 18th over bowled by left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, was hit for 23 runs by Ryder and Smith. The Australian hit Nadeem for two fours and two sixes in the over. This was the best over of the innings.
Smith played a cameo of 13-ball 34 not out with four fours and two sixes. Pune scored 67 runs in final five overs.
Morne Morkel was the bowler to take all three wickets to fall in the innings, but was expensive. The South African paceman conceded 50 in four overs.
Interestingly captain Virender Sehwag did not use his left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, who was playing his first game this IPL. He had come into the side in place of Ajit Agarkar.
Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag won the toss and decided to field first against Pune Warriors.
Both teams made one change each. Delhi brought in left-arm spinner Pawan Negi in place of Ajit Agarkar while Pune opted for South Africa paceman Alfonso Thomas for Marlon Samuels.
After starting with a win against Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi were beaten by Royal Challengers Bangalore. But since that they have scored three wins in a row. Pune, with three defeats in six outings, will have to play really well to stop Delhi from getting another victory.
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Ross Taylor, Kevin Pietersen, Irfan Pathan, Morne Morkel, Naman Ojha, Yogesh Nagar, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Pawan Negi.
Pune Warriors: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Murali Kartik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Jesse Ryder, Rahul Sharma, Steve Smith, Alfonso Thomas, Robin Uthappa (wicketkeeper), Angelo Mathews.
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Subrat Das (India)
Third Umpire: Sudhir Asnani (India)
Match Referee: Graeme Labrooy (Sri Lanka)