Jesse Ryder finally came to the party in the IPL as he guided Pune Warriors India to a victory with a brilliant 73 off 56, in their match against Chennai Super Kings who looked down on every front except fielding. Ryder’s was the pivotal innings around which the Warriors built their chase of 156. Smith provided perfect company for Ryder at the end as he blasted 44 from just 22 balls.
Earlier, Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. Faf du Plessis started off from where he left against the Royal Challengers. He constantly moved out of the crease and cleared the infield with ridiculous ease. After a contained start from Murali Karthik, Nehra was carted for 18 in his first over, the 4th of the innings, as du Plessis scored three fours and a six in that over, without giving the fielders any chance.
Murali Vijay looked edgy as usual before departing after making 8 off 11 balls as he tried to hoick a delivery from Mathews over the leg side but failed to read the change in pace, and was lobbed at deep square leg easily by Dinda. du Plessis continued unperturbed and Raina too complemented his strokeplay at the other end. But the time-out at the end of the 9th over proved to be the game-changing moment for Pune Warriors as du Plessis was drawn out by Rahul Sharma and missed the delivery which spun and bounced more than the batsman expected. Uthappa didn’t make any mistake and du Plessis departed after making a fine 43 off 33 deliveries.
Super Kings’ captain MS Dhoni pushed himself up the order and made his way out at number 4. Raina departed after adding 19 runs with Dhoni as he hit a pitched-up delivery from Rahul Sharma powerfully but not high enough to clear long on as Steven Smith plucked it off just above his head inside the boundary. Jadeja added pace to the innings with some meaty blows as Dhoni played the anchor role at the other end during the middle overs. Despite taking 41 off the last 5 overs, Chennai weren’t able to have that final flourish at the end of the innings as they reached a score of 155, which looked 20-30 runs short of a winning total on a flat wicket that didn’t seem too slow.
Pune Warriors started aggressively as Robin Uthappa opened the innings with Jesse Ryder ahead of Sourav Ganguly who pushed himself down one spot in the batting order. Although it was Uthappa who opened the boundary score for the Warriors, Ryder turned on the heat with 3 consecutive boundaries off Kulasekara’s 2nd over. But the last ball of the over saw Uthappa hesitate a bit for the second run and Bravo’s accurate throw from the deep caught him just short of the crease. Coming in at number three, Ganguly started off by rolling back the years as he caressed a full and wide delivery from Morkel screaming past the off side for a boundary off the first delivery he faced. 34 runs later however, it was Ganguly’s turn to be run out as he looked unsure about a non existent second after merely jogging for the first. Samuels and Ryder then avoided further breakthroughs before an ugly hoick by the former led to his off stump being pegged back. Smith didn’t take long to settle and he and Ryder made sure that they don’t take their foot off the pedal. Smith connected the big shots at regular intervals and always kept the run rate in check. With 10 needed off the last over, Smith flicked the first ball for four down the leg side and dismissed the length delivery outside off which went through the hands of a running Jadeja at deep cover for a six, giving Pune their 3rd win from 4 matches so far.
Chennai Super Kings 155/5 from 20.0 overs (Jadeja 44, du Plessis 43, R Sharma 2-16)
Pune Warriors India 156/3 from 19.2 overs (Ryder 73, Smith 44, Y Mahesh 1-22)
Man of the Match – Jesse Ryder