April 12, 2013 1:37:39 am
Aaron Finch,the Pune Warriors newest throw of the dice in the opening slot,a position which has been a rather itchy one for the franchise,played and missed three of Shantakumaran Sreesanths first five balls.
The batsmen,looked a touch edgy as he repeatedly played early. The pressure of giving his side a start seemed to weigh on the batsmen as his side chased 145. Off the last ball of the over,the 26-year-old Victorian put his rippling biceps to work to send it soaring over long-on.
Finch seemed to have emboldened his partner at the other end. Robin Uthappa lined up debutant Harmeet Singhs first ball,a gentle half-tracker to the mid-wicket fence. The second ball went the same way. Off the fourth ball,Finch sent the ball past long-on.
The next over from Sreesanth was plundered for 21 runs with Uthappa hammering two huge sixes and a boundary. He raced to 32 off 16 balls before Rahul Dravid pulled off a blinder to send him back. The loss of his partner made no difference to Finch (2013 Big Bash Leagues highest scorer with 332 runs at 66.40). Finch was eventually dismissed for 64 by James Faulkner and though Ross Taylor departed soon Yuvraj Singhs 23-ball 28 took the Warriors home.
Pune coach Allan Donald had asked his openers to maximize the power-play and the batsmen followed his exhortations,making 64/1 in the first six overs. On cue,the Warriors snapped their 11-game losing streak.
Earlier,batting first,Rajasthan lost Kushal Perera off the first ball,but Rahane and Dravid stitched an 81-run partnership. Dravid scored 54 off 48 balls,his second half-century in three matches,but his side failed to get the scoring going despite the early stand.
Rahane was dismissed on 30,and after that wicket the Royals lost steam. Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma choked the run-flow as he picked up Rahane. Angelo Mathews struck next over after Dishant Yagniks attempted Dil-scoop landed in the hands of short third-man.
Sharma finished with 2/16 as Rajasthan made just giving away just 16 runs and his subtle variations in pace seemed to unsettle the Rajasthan batsmen.
James Faulkner and Brad Hodge added a few lusty blows at the end,but could add just 64 runs off the 52 balls after Rahanes dismissal. It proved totally inadequate after Punes rousing start.
Brief scores: Royals 145/5 in 20 overs (R Dravid 54,A Rahane 30; R Sharma 2/16,Y Singh 2/27) lost to Warriors 148/3 in 18.4 overs (A Finch 64,R Uthappa 32,Y Singh 28 not out; J Faulkner 2/17,H Singh 1/34) by seven wickets.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.