Pune Warriors stroll to 22 runs win over Punjab

Pune Warriors stroll to 22 runs win over PunjabPune, April 9 : Pune Warriors recorded their second successive victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) beating Kings XI Punjab convincingly by 22 runs at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here Sunday.

Electing to bat at the packed Sahara Stadium, Pune Warriors scored an impressive 166 for six in 20 overs. Punjab managed only 144 for eight in their 20 overs.

Pune Warrior's bowlers for the second time in the competition put in a good all round performance as all bowlers barring Murali Kartik got their names in the wickets column. Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma was the pick of the bowlers bagging two for 34.

But the star of the show was West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels (46), who along with Robin Uthappa (40) brought back Pune Warriors to track with their 81-run stand after a slow start. Australian Steven Smith came up with a cameo of 12-ball 25.

The Warriors lost two wickets in quick succession after a cautious start. Captain Sourav Ganguly (20) was the first to go, caught at mid-off while opening partner Jesse Ryder (8) got run out in a silly mix up with Samuels.

The big-hitting West Indian then forged a crucial partnership with Robin Uthappa (40) to take the total to 113 for two before falling victim to Harmeet Singh's slower ball.

Good bowling by Harmeet and James Faulkner stemmed the run flow. Australian import Callum Ferguson (3) in trying to break the shackles, lobbed an easy catch to Harmeet off his own bowling.

Uthappa lost his middle stump to become Harmeet's third victim. Turning point of the match came soon after Harmeet Singh's good spell was cut short by the umpire for bowling two successive beamers.

Smith (25) and Manish Pandey (12 not out) took full advantage as they smashed Bipul Sharma, the man replacing Singh, for three sixes as 27 runs came off the penultimate over.

Smith hit Faulkner another six the next over to take the score to 166 before being castled by his compatriot.

Punjab had themselves to blame for the loss as both openers Adam Gilchrist (6) and Paul Valthaty (1) got run out with the score on nine.

Mandeep Singh (24) and Abhishek Nayar (24) tried to mend the innings with a 41-run partnership. But Singh's innings ended prematurely, falling prey to Ryder.

Nayar was the next to go as a string of wickets followed. David Hussey (18), Piyush Chawla (16) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (5) all failed to impress as Punjab slumped to 106 for seven.

Some lusty blows towards the end by Bipul Sharma (35 not out) only delayed the inevitable as Punjab fell to their second straight loss in the tournament.(IANS)