NEW DELHI: Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag reached half-ton just after his Pune counterpart Sourav Ganguly struck to remove Kevin Pietersen, reducing hosts to 87/2, in chase of 193, at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium.
Pietersen made 32 and shared 75-run stand for the second wicket with Virender Sehwag.
Sehwag reached his half ton just after Pietersen’s dismissal.
Alfonso Thomas scalped Mahela Jayawardene to give Delhi first blow after Jesse Ryder’s solid 86 helped Pune Warriors score a massive 192/3.
The burly New Zealander, Ryder smashed his way to 86 off only 58 balls while Sourav Ganguly who had failed in six previous matches contributed 41. Their second wicket partnership of 93 was the foundation on which Pune built their innings after being put into bat.
Ryder hit seven fours and four sixes in his innings. Not to forget young Smith’s cameo of 34 from only 13 deliveries (4×4, 2×6) towards the end also helped in beefing up the total.
Smith hit two fours and two sixes in the 18th over from Shahbaz Nadeem (0/44 from 4 overs) that yielded 23 runs as Pune, who have not batted well consistently so far in the tournament, put up a fighting total.
At the start, the first few scoring shots from Ryder were all mishits but did give him the desired results. The first six that he hit off Morne Morkel was over third-man when he wanted to hit over extra-cover.
That was followed by a ‘Chinese-cut’ that went past wicketkeeper to the fine leg fence. The second hit was a mistimed hook that went for a six. The first boundary he got off the middle of the bat was over mid-wicket off Morkel.
While Robin Uthappa (10) was dismissed early while trying to play a flashy drive, Ryder continued to play his shots in company of Ganguly, who finally found some form after failing in six consecutive matches.
Pune reached 50 in the sixth over which was not bad considering they scored their first runs off the ninth ball. With two left-handers in Ryder and skipper Ganguly, Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag decided not use his two frontline left-arm spinners and brought himself and Kevin Pietersen to bowl off-breaks……
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