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New Delhi, (IANS):
A blistering knock from Jesse Ryder and an all-round performance by Sourav Ganguly gave Pune Warriors a convincing 20-run win over Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium on Saturday night.
Ryder (86) and skipper Sourav Ganguly (41) were involved in a 93-run stand for the second wicket that helped the Pune Warriors pile up a huge 192 for three in 20 overs.
While chasing, Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag top scored with 57 but hardly got any support from the other and as the hosts were restricted to 172 for seven in 20 overs.
South African pacer Alfonso Thomas was the pick of the Pune Warriors bowlers bagging three for 22 while Ganguly (2-27), who bowled for the for the first time in the IPL since 2010, bagged the crucial wickets of Kevin Pietersen (32) and Irfan Pathan (15).
The win took Pune Warriors to the third spot with eight points from seven matches while Daredevils remained at top with eight points from six matches.
While chasing a target of 193, Daredevils opened with Mahela Jayawardene (7) and Sehwag but the new opening pair failed to give Delhi the desired start. The decision to promote the Sri Lankan captain also proved costly as it exposed the inexperience in Delhi's middle-order.
After the dismissal of Jayawardene in the third over, Sehwag and Pietersen did the rescue act with their 75-run stand for the second-wicket.
Piestersen, who has been in good form in the tournament, struck three sixes and a four in his 23-ball knock before being castled by a delivery from Ganguly that kept low. The former India captain struck again in his next over to remove Pathan, who charged Ganguly down the track only to give Ryder an easy catch at deep-mid wicket.
Ganguly almost got his third wicket in his third over, but Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Matthews dropped a sitter to give a reprieve to Pawan Negi (8), who, however was run out on the next delivery.
Yogesh Nagar came up with a cameo of 19-ball 24 in the end but not enough to save the day for Daredevils.
Earlier, asked to bat first by Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag, Pune Warriors lost opening batsman Robin Uthappa (10) early in the fifth over.
Warriors, who came into the match on the back of two successive losses, made a watchful start as the first two overs yielded just three runs. But Uthappa stepped on the accelerator in the third over hitting Pathan for two consecutive fours.
In the fourth over, Ryder joined the part hitting Morne Morkel (3-50) for a six and four in the first two balls. But the South African came back strongly to dismiss Uthappa, who chased a wide delivery and edged to wicketkeeper Naman Ojha.
Ryder then joined forces with Ganguly, who registered his top score this season, and with some powerful hitting took apart the Daredevils bowling unit.
The burly Ryder on the other end indulged in power hitting. The Kiwi played a flawless innings, hitting four sixes and seven fours in his 56-ball knock.
It was an inspired innings by the 39-year-old Ganguly, who defied age, to entertain the packed crowd that was waiting eagerly for a dazzling innings from the former India captain.
While Ganguly allowed Ryder to take most of the strike, but whenever the Pune Warriors skipper got a chance he stamped his class over hitting five fours and a six in his 35-ball innings. Ganguly departed in his attempt to hit out Morkel and holed out to Umesh Yadav at long-on.
Ryder and Steven Smith (34 not out) then added 67-runs for the third wicket and scored briskly that took Pune Warriors to a position of strength. The last four overs conceded 56 courtesy a 13-ball whirlwind knock by Smith.
The young Australian all-rounder smashed Shahbaz Nadeem for 23 runs from the 18th over that was also the left-arm spinner's last over.
Pune Warriors made two changes with Bhuvenshwar Kumar and Marlon Samuels making way for Mithun Manhas and Alfonso Thomas. Daredevils made one change with left-arm spinner Pawan Negi replacing veteran fast bowler Ajit Agarkar.