IPL desk in Mumbai 22 April 2012 - 12:41am IST
Report: Match 27 – DD v PWI
All-round Ganguly leads Pune Warriors India’s charge against Delhi Daredevils
While DD skipper Virender Sehwag was his usual explosive self up-front, his opening partner Mahela Jayawardene (7) fell to Alfonso Thomas with the scorecard reading 12 for one. However, this brought the in-form Kevin Pietersen to the crease, who, along with Sehwag, upped the run-rate gradually. Both right-handers looked at their dangerous best as they smashed the PWI bowlers to all corners of the park. Their 42-ball 75-run partnership kept DD firmly in the hunt.
Pietersen, who scored a match-winning ton against the Deccan Chargers in his previous game, even hit Angelo Mathews for three big sixes in one over. By the ninth over, Ganguly had used five different bowlers to stem the flow of runs, but he soon took matters into his own hands. The PWI skipper bowled the most memorable delivery of the night as he knocked over Pietersen’s stumps off his first ball of IPL 2012. The Englishman had to depart on 32 (4x1, 3x6) in 22 balls.
Next man in Irfan Pathan did brief damage before he too fell prey to Ganguly. The all-rounder was caught at long-on after he contributed 15 runs off 11 balls (1x6) to the DD cause. Murali Kartik struck soon after, taking a stunning catch off his own bowling to see the back of the dangerous Sehwag (57 off 32 balls) who left the Daredevils tottering at 115 for four. This brought two new batsmen – Ross Taylor and Pawan Negi – to the crease. While Angelo Mathews dropped Negi off the bowling of Ganguly, he made amends for his mistake almost immediately as he ran the young batsman out in the same over with the score at 125 for five.
Thereafter, the required rate kept creeping up as Yogesh Nagar joined Taylor in the middle. Ashish Nehra and Kartik took advantage of this situation and bowled a couple of tidy overs at a time when DD could have done with some big hitting. This led to a desperate heave by Taylor (12 off 12 balls), who ended up holing out to long-on off the bowling of Thomas. At this point, the hosts were struggling at 143 for six. Despite some late hits by Nagar (24) and Naman Ojha (11*), it was too steep a slope for the hosts to climb as PWI registered a 20-run win.
While Thomas ended up with impressive figures of 4-0-22-3, even Ganguly’s bowling effort of 4-0-27-2 proved to be decisive in seeing PWI home.
Earlier, Sehwag won the toss and asked PWI to bat first. On a good batting surface, Irfan Pathan did exceptionally well to bowl a maiden over up front. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem added to the pressure from the other end as he conceded just three runs off the second over.
The pressure bore dividends for the home side after PWI opener Robin Uthappa (10) nicked a Morne Morkel delivery to find the gloves of wicketkeeper Naman Ojha.
Meanwhile, Jesse Ryder looked in sublime touch as he gradually found his groove and took the attack to the DD bowlers. He was well supported by Ganguly, who, along with the Kiwi opener, put up a 93-run partnership. During this 63-ball stand, both left-handers managed to plunder runs in all corners of the ground. Ganguly (41 off 35 balls) finally holed out to long-on in an attempt to further accelerate the scoring rate, leaving PWI at 119 for two.
Next batsman Steve Smith picked up where his captain had left off joining Ryder, who had already reached his half-century by that point.
The big shots continued to flow as both Ryder (86 off 58 balls) and Smith (34* off 13 balls) stitched together a 67-run partnership that was only broken in the final over of the innings when the former was bowled by Morkel. The visitors ended up piling up a mammoth score of 193 for three in 20 overs.
Morkel, who ended with figures of 4-0-50-3, was the only DD bowler to bag wickets in the match.
Man-of-the-Match: Sourav Ganguly for his all-round performance that saw him score 41 in 35 balls and claim two crucial wickets