The Indian summer begins to set in by this time of the year in these parts but overnight rains accompanied by strong winds,which blew off the covers on the field for a brief while,ensured that medium-pacers would have a say when Kings XI Punjab hosted Pune Warriors India. After winning the toss,Punjab did the logical step of asking Pune to bat and their medium-pacer,England’s Dmitri Mascarhenas,took advantage of the home-like conditions on a wicket that held a tinge of green to complete a five-wicket haul.
Pune were bowled out for 115,a total which Punjab chased down with 14 balls and seven wickets to spare to record their first win of this season.
Though Punjab experienced a poor start when Paul Valthaty was bowled by Ashok Dinda in the first ball of their reply,Shaun Marsh marked his return to form with an unbeaten 64 off 54 balls to ensure that there was no danger of the Punjab innings going the Pune way. Marsh shepherded the chase on the wicket that remained helpful to the bowlers. The Pune batsmen collectively didn’t have an answer to late swing as Mascarhenas used his bag of tricks to pick up wickets. The slower ball accounted for Robin Uthappa,while Marlon Samuels was bowled as he failed to counter the swing.
Samuels was the second wicket to fall in a span of four balls. Mascarenhas induced a leading edge from Ganguly in the first ball of the sixth over,the English-born all-rounder’s first of the innings. Though,Robin Uthappa and Mithun Manhas tried to rebuild the innings by adding 26 runs for the fifth wicket,Mascarenhas upset their plans by first removing Uthappa in the 13th over. Manhas top-scored with 31 runs to help Pune cross the 100-run mark.
At the other end,medium-pacer Harmeet Bansal also got into the act by picking up the wickets of dangerous hitters Angelo Mathews and Manish Pandey. Pune were off to a disastrous start as a poor call from Ganguly led to Jesse Ryder being run out.
Brief scores: Pune 115 all out in 19 overs (Mithun Manhas 31,Robin Uthappa 17,Sourav Ganguly 16,Dmitri Mascarenhas 5/25,Harmeet Singh 2/23); Kings XI 116/3 in 17.4 overs (Shaun Marsh 64 n.o,Piyush Chawla 21 n.o,Adam Gilchrist 21,Rahul Sharma 1/17,Ashok Dinda 1/18)