The Pune Warriors were desperate for their captain, Sourav Ganguly, to lead from the front – and on Saturday he did just that, weighing in with a fine knock of and landing two telling blows with the ball to sink the Delhi Daredevils.
The Pune Warriors were desperate for their captain, Sourav Ganguly, to lead from the front – and on Saturday he did just that, weighing in with a fine knock of and landing two key blows with the ball to sink the Delhi Daredevils by 20 runs in their Indian Premier League clash at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Unconvincing at the helm throughout the tournament thus far, Ganguly answered his critics with a superb performance that earned him the Man of the Match award and the renewed respect of old fans.
Pune's innings of 192 for three was built on the back of Jesse Ryder's 86 – the highest score of the New Zealander's Twenty20 career and a measured 41 from Sourav Ganguly, while Steven Smith's brisk cameo certainly aided the formidable size of the total.
While Ryder and Ganguly batted at a strike rate of 148.27 and 117.14, the Australian all-rounder weighed in at a swashbuckling 261.53. Rejected by his country of birth's limited-overs fold of late, the young all-rounder is steadily making his mark on international T20 competition.
The Warriors' tally ultimately proved more than enough, with Delhi falling well short in their pursuit.
57 from Virender Sehwag and 32 from Kevin Pietersen threatened to turn the tables on the opposition but, after neither of them were able to match the heights achieved by Ryder, Delhi's pursuit amounted to nothing more than a gradual donward spiral.
Alfonso Thomas fetched the peripheral blows, finishing with figures of three for 22, but seamer Ganguly truly sealed the deal by removing Pietersen and the dangerous Irfan Pathan.
Yogesh Nagar delayed the inevitable with a defiant innings of 24, but the all was said and done when the Daredevils ended on 172 for seven.
Saturday's result weakened Delhi's position at the top of the nine-team standings, while Pune moved to third.
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