Pune playoff hopes dented

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The Pune Warriors' hopes of securing a place in the Indian Premier League semi-finals copped a heavy blow as they sunk to a 13-run defeat at the hands of the Deccan Chargers in Tuesday's clash at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.

The Pune Warriors' hopes of securing a place in the Indian Premier League semi-finals copped a heavy blow as they sunk to a 13-run defeat at the hands of the Deccan Chargers in their clash at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.

A little more than halfway into the 2012 tournament, the Pune outfit are languishing at third-last in the nine-team standings on eight points. Deccan, despite Tuesday's triumph, are still stone last on five points.

While the Chargers won't secure a playoff berth, the Warriors franchise will have to win the remainder of their matches and, possibly, rely on the results of other matches for a calculated graduation to the final four.

Deccan's Tuesday triumph was built on the back of Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White's record partnership.

The duo orchestrated the highest third-wicket partnership in the history of IPL cricket as the hosts amassed a formidable 186 for four.

Sangakkara and White, for their whopping 157-run alliance from just 14.2 overs, surpassed the 152 Chennai duo Murali Vijay and Albie Morkel thumped against the Rajasthan Royals in the 2010 tournament.

The Sri Lankan and Australian finished on 82 and 74 respectively, striking all of 14 fours and six sixes between them.

The shoddy figures of Sourav Ganguly and Ashish Nehra epitomised Pune's torrid day with the ball. The Indian seamers fetched 80 runs between their combined seven overs.

The visiting side's reply didn't enjoy a fluid start. Manish Pandey, like Parthiv Patel earlier in the match, fell to the first ball of the innings.

Michael Clarke, making his IPL debut, and captain Sourav Ganguly kept their side in the hunt. The Australian captain managed 41 to the former Indian skipper's 45.

Steven Smith later had the pursuit on track with 47 not out, but shy of sufficient support, the Aussie all-rounder's cameo eventually proved in vain.

Deccan's victory was not without blemish. They endured a disappointing day in the field, dropping a slew of catches. Sangakkara was named Man of the Match.

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