7 may 2011
Pune end seven-match losing streak
Mohali: Pune Warriors finally had reason to smile as they snapped their seven-match losing streak by defeating an equally desperate Kings XI Punjab by five wickets in a low-scoring Indian Premier League match, here today.
With hardly any chance to make the play-off stage, the two bottom-placed teams were playing for pride and the Yuvraj Singh-led Warriors badly needed a win as the story of their humiliation was getting worse with defeat after defeat.
Pune bowlers scripted the win by putting up an outstanding effort as they restricted Punjab to a meagre 119 for eight after the hosts opted to bat first at PCA stadium.
The visitors then chased the small target with 2.5 overs to spare. Skipper Yuvarj Singh led the team to win with a fiery 35-run knock off 15 balls.
Manish Pandey (28) and Jesse Ryder (15) provided Warriors a decent, if not spectacular start, by raising a quick 32 runs but like the Punjab batsmen, they too squandered starts.
Bhargav Bhatt got rid of Ryder and Robin Uthappa (22) also fell after getting a start but Yuvraj ensured that their side do not lose way this time around.
Yuvraj hammered Bhatt for two sixes and two fours in the 15th over, which earned them 22 runs and got out while trying to finish the game in a hurry.
Pune, surprisingly, yet again chose not to include former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, who was expected to play his first match of the season-IV today.
Earlier, leg-spinner Rahul Sharma yet again returned exceptional figures as he gave away just 17 runs in his four overs and began the Punjab slide by dismissing openers — Adam Gilchrist (3) and Paul Valthaty (23).
Paceman Wayne Parnell (2/12) also did extremely well as he was the most economical bowler, conceding just 12 runs in his quota of four overs and also struck two blows.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/14) and Mitchell Marsh (2/12) all took two wickets apiece.
With this win, Pune have moved to eighth in the points table from 10th while Punjab, who suffered their fifth defeat in a row, are now languishing at the bottom.