Felix Austin | cricket20
The Pune Warriors slumped to their seventh straight IPL defeat after they suffered a 21 run reversal against the Mumbai Indians who moved 2 points clear at the top of the IPL group standings.
While the Indians remain on course for the knock out stages the Warriors find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table 7 points behind the 4th place Rajasthan Royals with only 5 games remaining.
Having kept the Indians in check throughout the innings Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh recorded a vital 7th wicket partnership of 37 to help the visitors steal the momentum.
Pollard (30) and Harbhajan (8)came together in the 17th over and proceeded to blast 2 fours and 2 sixes to help the Indians reach 161-7 after they had been reduced to 124-6.
The turning point for the Indians was the penultimate over which saw Alfonso Thomas concede 28 runs which included two wides, two fours and two sixes during an explosive 9 ball over.
The Warriors run chase got off to an unbelievable start when Jessie Ryder sliced the first delivery of the innings from Harbhajan Singh to Dhawal Kulkarni at backward point.
Graeme Smith (6) and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (10) soon followed before Manish Pandey and Yuvraj Singh restored hop with a 4th wicket partnership of 31.
Yuvraj thrilled the crowds by dispatching two sixes before he was undone by a short ball from Lasith Malinga which the Warriors skipper fended off to Munaf Patel at third man to leave the home side 77-4.
Manish Pandey (59) registered a consolation half century but his resistant’s wasn’t enough to stop the Warriors slipping to another demoralising defeat.
Having been put into bat the Indians latest opening partnership lasted just 2.3 overs before Blizzard (6) was dismissed by Alfonso Thomas having been handed an IPL debut in place of the injured Davy Jacobs.
Despite the early loss of Blizzard the Indians got off to a good start thanks to a 2nd wicket stand of 40 between Sachin Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu.
Tenhdulkar (24), the leading run score in this year’s tournament led the way before he was dismissed by Yuvraj Singh in the 9th over when the Indians skipper picked out Jessie Ryder who took an excellent diving catch at short extra cover.
Yuvraj struck again two overs later to dismiss Rayudu (27) before Suman came to the crease and kick started the Indians stuttering innings by dispatching Ryder and Jerome Taylor for two big sixes.
Despite the loss of Rohit Sharma (12) in the 14th over the Indians continued to pressure the Warriors with Suman enjoying a memorable cameo before his innings was ended by Sharma.
Andrew Symonds (3) quickly followed before Pollard and Harbhajan relieved the pressure with a devastating 7th wicket partnership to put the visitors in control of the game.