Mumbai: Yuvraj Singh’s all-round show went in vain as Delhi Daredevils (DD) defeated Pune Warriors by three wickets in a high-scoring Indian Premier League (IPL) clash to record their maiden victory in the fourth edition tournament here on Sunday.
Chasing an imposing target of 188, Delhi romped home with four balls to spare as David Warner (46), Virender Sehwag (37) Venugopal Rao (31) and Aaron Finch (25) shone with the bat.
Earlier, opener Jesse Ryder (60) and skipper Yuvraj (66 not out) struck half-centuries to help Pune Warriors amass an imposing 187 for five.
Yuvraj then took four wickets and it looked that his team will go on to score its third successive win but the Delhi batsmen refused to buckle under pressure of chasing a massive total and came out victorious.
Yuvraj though was adjudged Man-of-the-Match. The visitors started splendidly with a 75-run opening stand between Warner and skipper Sehwag but a flurry of wickets reduced Delhi to 120 for five and they appeared to be heading towards another defeat.
Venugopal (31 in 20 balls) and Finch (25 in 12 balls) then raised a crucial stand of 47 runs in 4.1 overs for the sixth wicket to put them on the doorsteps of a fine victory.
James Hopes (13), who has stayed on to play in the IPL in spite of the death of his father back home in Australia, completed the victory in style by smashing Jesse Ryder for a six and a four in the first two balls of the final over.
Twenty runs came in the 18th over bowled by Shrikant Wagh that swung the match Delhi’s way.
Earlier, after being invited to bat by Delhi, Ryder took full use of two reprieves by Ashok Dinda in bludgeoning his way to 60 off only 27 balls. He hit five huge sixes and as many fours.
During his stay, Ryder added 54 runs in 6.2 overs for the second wicket with Mithun Manjas (20 in 18 balls).
Yuvraj, who came in at the fall of Manhas’ wicket, struck a quickfire 66 not out in 33 balls, with five massive sixes and four fours, to give Pune the impetus towards the end.
The skipper put on 41 runs in just 17 balls for the unfinished sixth wicket with Wayne Parnell (10 not out).
The Delhi bowlers, after having allowed Pune to go on a rampage in the first ten overs, came back strongly in the second half of the innings till Yuvraj smashed Ashok Dinda for 26 runs in the final over to undo the visitors’ good work in the period after Ryder’s dismissal.
Yuvraj carted Dinda for three on-side sixes, two of them off successive balls, and a four, to finish the innings on a high.
On a good batting track the Warriors, who had chased successively in their first two games, began their innings on a confident note.
Daredevils’ ploy to open the bowling with part-time off-break bowler Venugopal nearly paid dividends but for Dinda’s late reaction to latch on to Ryder’s mistimed pull.
The fortunate New Zealander then whacked the bowler for two successive sixes to set the Pune on course. Fourteen runs came off Rao’s opening over and as expected, was replaced by Irfan Pathan.
Dinda drew first blood when he had Graeme Smith caught at third man in his second over. Pathan, after a good first over, was hit for a four and a six by Ryder in successive balls in his next.
Umesh Yadav, back in the team after being omitted for the previous game, was then slammed for 21 runs.
Ryder looked a man in total command as he cut and pulled the wayward bowler for three successive fours to help the team reach 50 in 32 balls.
Having watched Ryder smash left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem for a six, Manhas did a repeat against James Hopes before the Australian exacted his revenge by having the Delhi player caught at midoff for 20.
Ryder, on 46, pulled Nadeem hard and straight to the deep mid-wicket fence, where Dinda dropped a sitter to give the batsman his second life.
The Kiwi accepted it gleefully and smacked the next ball over long-on for his fifth six to reach his half century in only 24 balls.
Ryder swung the bowler for another four to the square leg fence before holing out to Aaron Finch.
After that, Daredevils fought back in the next five overs to arrest the run-rate. At the end of the 15 over, Pune were 128 for five but in the next, Irfan conceded 13 runs.
Mohnish Mishra, who played a match-winning 21-ball 37 in the previous game against Kochi Tuskers Kerala, failed to get going and fell cheaply to Dinda.
What followed after that was total carnage as Yuvraj took the Delhi bowlers to the cleaners.
The flamboyant left-hander swung Dinda over midwicket for his first six, then slammed him over long-on before pulling him over midwicket to spoil the bowler’s figures.