Mathews, Murtaza and Finch inspire Pune
A superb all-round performance by Angelo Mathews and a captain’s knock by Aaron Finch powered the Pune Warriors to an emphatic 38-run win against the Delhi Daredevils in the clash of the Pepsi Indian Premier League basement dwellers at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune on Sunday.
Full Scorecard: Pune v Delhi
Mathews scored 30 off 22 balls and featured in a 71-run partnership off 38 balls with Luke Wright (44 off 23 balls, 7x4, 1x6)) for the fifth wicket in a spectacular late onslaught to propel the hosts to 172 for five.
Mathews also spearheaded a much-improved bowling performance by Pune in the death overs, and finished with 3 for 14 in three overs.
Delhi finished on a disappointing 134 for nine in their pursuit of 172.
Bhuvneshar Kumar featured with 0-26 in four overs and also defied the hard-hitting Delhi with excellent pace variations in the final period.
Finch struggled with a calf injury, but led the early assault for Pune with a superb 52 off 34 balls, including three fours and four sixes.
Delhi might not have been at the bottom of the IPL-log if their top-order was more effective.
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They crumbled to 65 for five after ten overs on Sunday.
The left-arm spinner Ali Murtaza was the chief executioner. He struck three early blows and boasted figures of 3-15 in four overs.
Muralidharen Gautam and Irfan Pathan completed their 50-run partnership off 38 balls as they led the recovery for Delhi from 65 for five to 118 for five in the seventeenth over.
Delhi still needed 69 runs off 30 balls to win it.
The Pune attack has suffered terribly this season during the final five overs, and their supporters might have felt nervous while Gautam and Pathan (24, 28 balls, 2x4) were at the crease.
But a double-strike by Mathews in the seventeenth over proved to be a fatal setback for Delhi in their attempt to avoid the wooden spoon.
Mathews had Gautam caught at deep midwicket by Raiphi Gomez for 30.
Morne Morkel holed out to Wayne Parnell off Mathews for a duck in the same over as Delhi slipped to 119 for seven.
Mathews’ splendid change of pace in that seventeenth over was a key factor for the hosts.
David Warner departed in Wayne Parnell’s second over, caught behind for 2 off a bottom edge.
Mahela Jayawardene looked in good nick, but he played a poor check shot to a wide delivery from the left-arm spinner Murtaza, and was dismissed for 14.
A double-strike by Murtaza in the eight over proved to be a crippling blow to Delhi’s chances.
Virender Sehwag, introduced at number four, played an ill-judged shot off Murtaza and was caught at deep extra cover by Gomez for 11.
An arm ball by Murtaza accounted for Bharat Chipli for sixteen, and Delhi slipped to 56 for four in the eighth over.
Ben Rohrer attempted a pull shot off Ashok Dinda and dragged it onto his stumps for 7, reducing Delhi to 64 for five.
From a South African perspective, the bowling was disappointing.
Parnell finished with 1-36 in three overs. His pace was impressive and his seam presentation good, but he was inconsistent and his line was very mediocre.
Morkel captured only seven wickets during the 2013-season, and finished with 0-36 in four indifferent overs on Sunday.
PUNE WARRIORS: TBA
DELHI DAREDEVILS: TBA