Pune Warriors beat Kochi Tuskers by four wkts

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2011, 00:17 AM IST

Mumbai: Pune Warriors beat Kochi Tuskers Kerala by four wickets in an Indian Premier League clash at the D Y Patil Stadium here on Wednesday.

Earlier, Ravindra Jadeja counter-punched his way to a blazing 47 as Kochi Tuskers Kerala recovered from a poor start to post a modest 148 for eight.

Tottering at 24 for four in the fifth over, the Kochi team were bailed out by a fine fifth-wicket stand of 88 runs in 64 balls between Brad Hodge (39 in 36 balls) and Jadeja, who struck three sixes and as many fours in his impressive 33-ball innings that ended in the 17th over.

But for this stand, Kochi would have been bowled out for below 100 by the Warriors bowling attack that put in another impressive display after their superb show against Kings XI Punjab last Sunday.

Their twin dismissals within the space of six balls seemed to have put paid to the hopes of the Tuskers to post a more challenging score but Raiphi Gomez struck a quick-fire 26 not out in 18 balls to help Kochi finish on a brighter note at the D Y Patil Stadium.

Kochi, who lost their debut tie against Royal Challengers Bangalore at home, plunged straightaway into trouble after their skipper Mehela Jayawardene elected to bat first on the bouncy, pacy and seaming track.

Brendon McCullum, who has been struggling with form, fell at the first ball of the tie, driving a wide ball that was swinging away from Alphonso Thomas and edging to keeper Robin Uthappa.

Other opener VVS Laxman also fell for a duck after facing three balls as he inside edged South African Wayne Parnell on to his stumps to make it 11 for two in the third over.

Parnell, who had replaced his right-handed countryman Alphonso after just one over bowled, got rid off skipper Jayawardene too cheaply for two runs in his first over. The Sri Lankan ace inside edged a drive to the left of Uthappa who brought off a one-handed catch.

Parthiv Patel, promoted to number 3 after having come low down in the opening match, played in his usual attacking manner driving and cutting the bowlers.

But after a quick-fire 21 off 19 balls with four fours, the diminutive southpaw too departed edging an attempted drive to slip fielder Graeme Smith off left-handed Parnell.

Tuskers, down and out for the count at 24 for four in the fifth over, were thankful to Jadeja as he relieve some pressure by striking Alphonso for three successive fours.

It was a hard struggle for the batsmen and the 50 could be raised only in the ninth over with Brad Hodge and Jadeja at the crease. Jadeja slog-swept Yuvraj Singh, when India`s World Cup hero faltered in his line, over the square leg region for his first six as Kochi moved to 64 for 4 after ten overs. Leg break bowler Rahul Sharma was also carted over long on by the left hander for his second six.

Hodge then sent Murali Kartik over the mid-wicket fence for his first six when the left arm slow bowler came for his second spell, after a two-over first stint for nine runs, and erred in line.

The seasoned Aussie lofted the bowler again in the next over for his second six, over long on to bring the total close to the 100 mark, which was raised later in 86 balls when the duo was still unconquered.

Hodge departed in the 16th over, caught in the deep by Murali Kartik while giving the charge to Sharma. He was soon followed into the hut by his partner Jadeja who mistimed a big-hit off Jesse Ryder and skied the ball to Parnell at mid off.

Gomez, who struck three fours, and Sreesanth put on 30 crucial runs in 2.5 overs to give a late boost to the score.

Parnell was the pick of the bowlers with a brilliant opening stint of 2-0-5-3 that took the wind out of the Kochi sails within the first five overs.

There was an on-field collision between Rahul Sharma and Graeme Smith when both fielders went for a high catch near the sight screen without calling out to each other in the 19th over. Smith hurt his knee that needed medical attention and a substitute fielder.