Pune lose despite Yuvraj heroics


MUMBAI – Pune Warriors captain Yuvraj Singh produced an impressive all-round performance, but failed to stop Delhi Daredevils from posting a thrilling three-wicket win in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
Yuvraj top-scored with an unbeaten 66 to help Pune reach a challenging 187-5 before Delhi achieved the stiff target with four balls to spare for their first victory in three matches in the Twenty20 tournament. Delhi needed eight to win off the last over after left-arm spinner Yuvraj had finished with 4-29, but Australian James Hopes (13 not out) smashed a six and a four off successive deliveries from New Zealand seamer Jesse Ryder.
Australian David Warner (46) and skipper Virender Sehwag (37) gave Delhi a solid start when they added 75 for the opening wicket before Venugopal Rao (31) and Aaron Finch (25) contributed crucial runs in the closing stages. Pune, who suffered their first defeat in three games, were earlier indebted to Yuvraj and Ryder (60) for setting a big target.
Yuvraj cracked five sixes, including three in the last over bowled by seamer Ashok Dinda, in his 32-ball knock and Ryder also hit five sixes in his 27-ball innings. Ryder played a key role in putting his team on course for a big total, dominating a 54-run stand for the second wicket with Mithun Manhas (20) after the early dismissal of South African opener Graeme Smith (12). He looked in excellent touch from the beginning as he hit two sixes in the first over of the innings off spinner Rao.
Ryder completed his half-century with an aggressive shot when he lofted left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem over long-on for a six before falling in the same over. Nadeem and Dinda finished with two wickets apiece.
Brief scores: Pune Warriors 187-5 in 20 overs (Yuvraj Singh 66 not out, J. Ryder 60, M. Manhas 20; S. Nadeem 2-39, A. Dinda 2-42) lost to Delhi Daredevils 190-7 in 19.2 overs (D. Warner 46, V. Sehwag 37, V. Rao 31, A. Finch 25; Yuvraj Singh 4-29) by three wickets.
Today’s match: Kochi Tuskers Kerala v Chennai Super Kings at Nehru Stadium, Kochi at 19:30 PKT