Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals post second consecutive win in IPL-5

At 32 for two at one stage, Pune Warriors managed to post a competitive score of 166 for six and scored their second consecutive victory in the IPL by defeating Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs, at the home ground on Sunday.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Pune Warriors managed to put up a respectable total built around 81-run partnership between Marlon Samuels (46) and Robin Uthappa (40). “It was not a big total to chase but a good start always helps and it was not the case with Punjab. They lost both the openers -- Paul Valthaty (1) and skipper Adam Gilchrist (6) --- in run outs,” writes Indian Express, adding the Punjab batsmen never recovered from the twin blows and all they could manage was 144 for eight in reply.

Meanwhile The Times Of India adds that  Punjab were on the back foot very early when they lost their dangerous openers, Paul Vathaty (1) and skipper Adam Gilchrist (6) to suicidal run-outs by the fourth over. “Mandeep Singh (24; 23b, 3x4s) and Abhishek Nayar (24; 28b, 2x4s) with their 41-run partnership for the third wicket attempted a Punjab revival. But Jesse Ryder, making his return to competitive cricket since announcing an indefinite break from cricket last year, snapped up the wicket of Singh. David Hussey (18 off 17) and Piyush Chawla (16; 8b,2x4s, 1x6) failed to add spice to the contest and fell to leggie Rahul Sharma,” writes TOI, adding that  wickets kept falling at regular interval and the asking rate went through the roof and Punjab finally ran out of overs.

Earlier, Ganguly, who won the toss and elected to bat first, set the ball rolling with a knock of 20 off 18 balls. But an 81-run partnership for the third wicket between Samuels (46; 39b, 4x4s, 2x6s) and Uthappa (40; 33b, 2x4s, 2x6s) laid the foundation for Pune’s tally.

Rajasthan Royals meant business from the very beginning as it batted well and then bowled beautifully to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 22 runs for their second consecutive win in IPL at Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday.

The Hindu
writes that three wickets in three balls and Kolkata Knight Riders chasing 165 for a win, was literally out of the match, at eight for three, even though Yusuf Pathan held out a threat. He can swing the match on its head with his exceptional hitting. He could not this time.

“Rajasthan Royals closed most gaps and kept the ball on just that length to leave KKR frustrated. It was Rajasthan Royal's second successive win and quite convincing too, by 22 runs,” writes Hindu, adding that it was a hot day but the seats were taken well ahead of the toss. The response was surprising indeed even if the majority had been attracted by the glamour quotient in the two teams.

“The home team fielded brilliantly too and the icing on the cake was ‘Man-of-the-match' Brad Hodge's catch at mid-wicket to show Yusuf the way back to the dressing room. His pleasing 44 off 29 balls with three boundaries and two sixes earlier had meant a lot to Rajasthan Royals.”