Pune: Pune Warriors recovered from a shaky start to score their second consecutive victory in the Indian Premier League as they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs here on Sunday.
Stuttering at 32 for two at one stage after electing to bat, Pune Warriors posted a competitive 166 for six, built around an 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 their openers - Paul Valthaty (1) and skipper Adam Gilchrist (6) - in run outs.
The Punjab batsmen never recovered from the twin blows and all they could manage was 144 for eight in reply.
Apart from top-scoring for Warriors, Samules also contributed with the ball, giving away 23 runs in his four overs and taking a wicket.
Warriors had beaten the formidable Mumbai Indians in their tournament opener.
The first five overs fetched Punjab just 13 runs and the required run-rate climbed to over 10. Mandeep Singh (24) and Abhishek Nayar (24) had a huge task at hand but they could barely reach the 50-run mark in the 10th over when Jesse Ryder had Mandeep caught behind.
Only four boundaries were scored by Punjab in the first 10 overs and they needed 114 runs in the last 10 to win.
David Hussey, the highest run-scorer in Twenty20 cricket, also could not do much for his side, as he contributed 18 runs before being bowled by Rahul Sharma.
Earlier, Samuels and Uthappa's 81-run stand for the third wicket helped Warriors recover from a pathetic start after they lost their openers inside the first five overs.
Samules' 46 runs came off 39 balls with six hits to the fence including two sixes while Uthappa took 33 balls for his 40, which contained two fours and as many sixes.
Both of them were dismissed by paceman Harmeet Singh, who was the most successful bowler for his side with a three-wicket haul at the expense of just 24 runs.
Steven Smith (25) and Manish Pandey (12) played some big shots towards the end to lift the side to a fightable total.
Pune extracted 35 runs in the last two overs, with 27 coming off the penultimate over when Bipul Sharma was hit thrice out of the park. Sharma bowled last four balls of that over when Harmeet was taken out of the attack due to bowling two consecutive beamers.
At the start, Sourav Ganguly (20) was lucky to get some quick runs as two of his three boundaries came off inside edges. His 'not-so-confident' stay ended soon when he smashed one straight off Dimitri Mascarenhas at mid-off.
Ryder (8) joined his skipper back in the dug out when he became a victim of a superb fielding effort by paceman Praveen Kumar in his follow through.
Thanks to a disciplined bowling attack, supported smartly by sharp fielding by Punjab fielders, only four shots crossed the fence till seven overs.
Samuels and Uthappa hit a six each off spinner Bipul Sharma as the hosts managed 71 for two at the half-way mark.
The burly Caribbean hit a massive six off Piyush Chawla and a deft late cut for a boundary off Mascarenhas to keep the scoring going at a decent run-rate - just over seven.
With Samuels and Uthappa playing sensibly, their innings got stabilised and there was enough opportunity to go all out in the last five overs.
Their partnership ended when Samuels was cleaned up by Harmeet Singh. The gentle medium pacer added another wicket when he scalped Callum Ferguson (3) in his next over.