Pune storm to top of IPL table

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The Pune Warriors secured a great seven-wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings thanks to big innings from Jesse Ryder and Steven Smith.

The Pune Warriors secured a great seven-wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings thanks to big innings from Jesse Ryder and Steven Smith.

Having won the toss and decided to bat, Chennai posted 155 on a pitch that offered little to the bowlers and certainly wasn't as slow as others seen during the tournament.

Chennai's innings was a strange one; despite posting a decent score that included two quick-fire 40s, one felt they could have done so much better.

Despite initially being cautious, Faf du Plessis got Chennai off to another good start. The South African hit five fours and two sixes in an innings of 43 of 33 balls before he was fooled by a flighted delivery from Rahul Sharma and stumped.

While it was one of the Super Kings' bargain buys that did the business up front, it was the $2 million man Ravindra Jadeja that provided some impetus late in the day.

Whacking his second score in excess of 40 in this year's tournament, Jadeja pocketed two maximums as he spurred Chennai on.

However, while du Plessis and Jadeja shined at either end, it was what happened in the middle that will be of concern.

Despite having a good platform to work from, Suresh Raina (20 off 19 balls) and MS Dhoni (26 off 28 balls) were far too conservative in their approach, especially when one considers the firepower that was to follow.

In the end their approach proved costly.

Opener Jesse Ryder (73 not out off 56 balls) anchored the Pune innings, never losing his head as he notched up his highest score in the IPL.

The Kiwi maintained a scoring rate well in excess of a run a ball without playing any silly shots. Even the run outs of opening partner Robin Uthappa and Sourav Ganguly didn't shake him.

However, it was Steven Smith who was the real match winner for the Warriors. Cracking 44 off just 22 balls, the Australian was brutal in his hitting, allowing Ryder to continue to play as a foil while he went for the boundaries, a task he performed with great effect.

Needing 22 runs from the final two overs, Smith hit four boundaries to ensure the task was completed with four balls to spare. Indeed, the all-rounder clobbered a four to fine leg and a flat six to extra cover off the first two balls of the last over to secure a great win.

The result takes Pune to the top of the IPL table having won three of their first four games while Chennai slip into the bottom half of the table.

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