Pune Warriors India and Delhi Daredevils came into the last Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 match with the sole aim of avoiding the wooden spoon. And on Sunday (May 19), Pune showed enough intent, which Delhi didn't, to wrap up a convincing 38-run win at Subrata Roy Sahara stadium in Pune to push Delhi to a last-place finish.
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Deciding to bat first, Aaron Finch led from the front with a 34-ball 52, before a brisk 71-run partnership between Angelo Mathews and Luke Wright propelled Pune to 172 for 5. After that, Ali Murtaza's excellent returns of 3 for 15 and Mathews's 3 for 14 ensured that Delhi were restricted to just 134 for 9.
That Delhi bowled 13 overs where less than ten runs were scored but still allowed Pune to post a big score was because of the 19th over of the innings when Umesh Yadav conceded 24 runs.
The Delhi bowlers were mostly in control of proceedings till then. Robin Uthappa was the first to fall, after an attractive 24, in the sixth over when he checked a shot off Yadav and David Warner lapped up the leading edge at backward point.
Shahbaz Nadeem bowled a tight line and in his second over, he bowled Manish Pandey, who ended up in an awkward position in trying to cut an arm ball.
At the other end, Finch favoured the arc between long-on and square leg, where he hit all his four sixes, on the way to his fourth half-century of the season. He looked good for more but committed early to a short delivery from Siddarth Kaul and looped the ball to short midwicket, where Virender Sehwag took the first of his three catches of the match. Yuvraj Singh went to a non-committal shot off a poor ball from Irfan Pathan and Pune were 96 for 4 by the 14th over.
But in 37 balls of aggressive batting after that, Mathews and Wright changed the complexion of the game. They spoilt Morne Morkel's bowling figures before Yadav leaked far too many runs at the death to leave Delhi's batsmen with a daunting task.
Delhi's chase never took off. Warner and Mahela Jayawardene, the two openers who got a life apiece, fell within the Power Play overs. Warner inside edged Wayne Parnell to be caught behind and Jayawardene guided a wide delivery from Murtaza straight into the hands of Wright at backward point.
Murtaza then played with Sehwag's patience, tempting him with loopy flight, and Sehwag fell for it and hit one straight to Raiphi Gomez at the extra-cover boundary. Off the very next ball, Murtaza had Bharat Chipli, playing his first game of the season, plumb in front of the wicket. Pathan avoided the hat-trick and Pune missed as many as five chances, but with wickets falling regularly, Delhi were always behind. And in the last five overs, when Delhi needed 69 to win, they just did not have enough firepower to thwart Pune.