Delhi: Bowling for the first time after 2010, talismanic captain Sourav Ganguly produced a magical spell of medium pace to help Pune Warriors India register 20-run victory over table toppers Delhi Daredevils at Ferozshah Kotla here on Saturday.
Chasing their highest target of this IPL so far, Delhi Daredevils looked perfectly on course to chase down 192 but all changed in the 10th over when Sourav Ganguly decided to take it upon himself to stop the rampaging Kevin Pietersen and Virender Sehwag. The decision would have easily backfired, it would have been like a lost lamb going into the lion’s den, but luck favours the brave and the ‘brave’ dada had his luck going his way as his very first ball kept low and rattled KP’s off stump.
Ganguly ran a mile celebrating the wicket, and Pune were back in the game. Pietersen departed for 32 off 23 balls and soon after Irfan Pathan followed not before hitting a six off Ganguly. The good work done by Sehwag, who finally fired in this edition, was slowly being undone as Pune bowlers clawed back into the match.
Till the 10th over, the equation was neck to neck with Delhi at 87/1 as opposed to Pune’s 82/1. By the 15th over Delhi were 131 as compared to Pune’s 125. Only difference, Delhi had lost 5 wickets and Pune just two.
Opener Jessie Ryder was still in the middle for the visitors and when Pune’s trump card Steve Smith came out to bat after being promoted up the order in the 15th over, the impetus was waiting to explode. Smith seized the opportunity as he had been doing for Pune scoring a vital 34 off just 13 balls. Ryder finished his innings with a hefty score of 86 off just 58 balls.
The part timers for Delhi which included Sehwag, Pietersen and Nagar conceded 40 runs in 4 overs between them as leg spinner Pawan Negi remained unused.
Contrary to Sehwag’s part time woes, Pune struck the cord with their part-timer as Ganguly gave away just 27 runs taking two crucial wickets.
By the time Ross Taylor came into the middle, the ask was a bit too steep and with one of the world’s best T20 bowler (Alfonso Thomas) at their disposal Pune had the game in their bag in the 18th over when Taylor departed for just 12. Delhi managed only 172 runs in the end.