Felix Austin | cricket20
Monish Mishra lead the Pune Warriors to a 6 wicket victory over the Kochi Tuskers Kerala to make it two wins in a row for the new IPL franchise.
The 24 year old came to the crease with the Warriors 73-4 but he remained calm, smashing an unbeaten 37 to lead the home side to victory.
Faced with a slightly higher run chase then expected, Graeme Smith and Jessie Ryder got the Warriors run chase off to a positive start thanks to an opening stand of 31.
The pair looked comfortable at the crease until Ryder (17) smashed a delivery back towards Vinay Kumar who, after several attempts held on to the ball to take the catch off his own bowling.
Smith (24), playing with a runner after his clash in the field with teammate Rahul Sharma looked set for a big score until he picked out RP Singh on the deep midwicket boundary in the 8th over.
The South African international left the field in disbelief after giving away his wicket away with such poor shot off a full toss by Ravindra Jadeja to leave the Warriors 54-2.
Mithun Manhas (12) and Juvraj Singh (8) quickly followed Smith back to the dug out but the Warriors remained on top thanks to Robin Uthappa who scored a quick fire 31 from just 13 deliveries.
As the tension mounted the Tuskers struck back to remove Uthappa and then Wayne Parnell (1) in the space of six ball to leave the game well balanced going into the final 5 overs but Mishra remained calm to see the Warriors on.
The visitors got off to a disastrous start losing 4 quick wickets inside the first 5 overs before Brad Hodge and Jadeja gave the Tuskers hope with a 5th wicket stand of 88 after they had been reduced to 24-4.
The pair started off slowly before building the foundations of a vital recovery which will at least give the Tuskers bowlers a total which might be defendable.
Jadeja led the way smashing 3 fours and 3 sixes while his senior partner took his time scoring 39 runs from 36 deliveries before he was caught by Murali Kartik out on the boundary to gibe Ishant Sharma his first wicket of the night.
Jadeja (47) quickly followed 5 deliveries later when he top edged a delivery from Jessie Ryder through to Parnell at mid off who took a simple catch to leave the visitors deep in trouble.
It got worst before it got better for the Tuskers when Vinay Kumar was run out at the end of the next over after a mix up with Raiphi Gomez which left both batsman stranded at the non-strikers end.
Having run out his teammate Gomez (26) smashed 22 runs from the final 2 overs to help the Tuskers reach a reasonable total which their bowlers might be able to defend.
The Tuskers innings got off to a disastrous start when Brendon McCullum edged the first delivery of the game bowled by Alfonso Thomas through to wicket keeper Robin Uthappa.
VVS Laxman (0) and Mahela Jayawardene (2) quickly followed in the third over before South African Wayne Parnell returned to pick up his 3rd wicket of the innings when Parthiv Patel was caught by Smith at first slip.